13 September 2019
Smith has irritated England for 10 innings in a row.
Steve Smith has continued what he started against England in the final Ashes Test at The Oval.
Here is a look back at a fine sequence stretching back to the start of the 2017-18 Ashes series.
First Test, Brisbane (141)
England already knew plenty about Steve Smith heading into the series, the then captain having scored five previous tons against them, including 215 at Lord’s in 2015. His first-innings ton at the Gabba helped set up a 10-wicket win.
Second Test, Adelaide (40 & 6)
A relative failure, but Australia still won by 120 runs.
Third Test, Perth (239)
A spectacular double century and a brilliant 301-run stand with Mitchell Marsh nullified hundreds from England’s Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow to set up an Australia victory by an innings and 41 runs.
Fourth Test, Melbourne (76 & 102no)
A double ton from Alastair Cook put England in control but Smith’s second-innings century ensured Australia secured a draw.
Fifth Test, Sydney (83)
Fell short of a fourth hundred in the series but Australia still won by dominating innings and 23 runs.
First Test, Edgbaston (144 & 142)
Brilliant double hundreds on his return to the side after suspension set up victory for Australia by 251 runs.
Second Test, Lord’s (92)
Again resisted England until being struck on the neck by a bouncer from Jofra Archer, who had earlier hit him on the arm, and was forced out for medical surveillance. He later returned and hit three more boundaries but he missed the rest of the match – and the third Test at Headingley – after suffering a delayed concussion.
Fourth Test, Old Trafford (211 & 82)
Back after injury, Smith showed Australia what they had been missing with a dominant 211 in the first innings and following up with 82 in the second. He cracked 24 fours and 2 sixes in his third career double century, although he did survive scares when dropped on 65 and when caught off a no-ball when 118. Removing him for ‘just’ 82 in the second innings, hitting out as Australia chased quick runs, constituted a relative success for England.
Fifth Test, The Oval (80)
There were few surprised when Smith reached a fifth successive half-century against England, but the question soon moved to ‘how do you get him out?’ Sam Curran thought he knew, only for Joe Root to drop him in the slips, before Chris Woakes answered, trapping him a leg-before wicket.