Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer hailed Steve Smith after the Australian hit his 32nd Test hundred in the second Ashes match at Lord’s on Thursday.
Smith once again etched his name in the record books with his century, bringing him closer to Ricky Ponting’s record on Australia’s all-time century scoring charts. Smith’s hundred rekindled England’s fears of a repeat performance from his dominant 2019 Ashes tour.
“If you make a green pitch, the Goat’s bound to graze on it! #Ashes2023,” Jaffer tweeted.
With his century at Lord’s, Smith matched Steve Waugh’s tally of 32 Test hundreds, placing him second among all Australian batters. Only Ponting, with 41 centuries, stands ahead of Smith and Waugh. Impressively, Smith achieved this milestone in just 99 Test matches and 174 innings, making him the fastest player to reach the 32-century mark.
Smith’s outstanding performance at Lord’s also secured him a place among the elite group of Australian batters who have scored multiple Test hundreds at the iconic venue. He joined the likes of Warren Bardsley, Don Bradman, and Bill Brown, who achieved this feat in previous years.
Lord’s holds a special significance for Smith, as it was where he made his Test debut against Pakistan in 2010 and where he played a remarkable innings of 215 during the 2015 Ashes. It was also the venue where he was infamously hit by a bouncer from Jofra Archer in 2019, resulting in a concussion.
After a rare failure in the first Test in Birmingham, Smith demonstrated his resilience and determination by aggressively taking on the English bowlers from the start. He quickly accumulated runs, hitting boundaries and showcasing his unorthodox yet effective batting technique.
Smith’s partnership with Travis Head, reminiscent of their match-defining stand in the recent World Test Championship final against India, proved crucial once again. During his innings, Smith surpassed the milestone of 9,000 Test runs, achieving this feat faster than any player except Kumar Sangakkara.