WTC Final: Steve Smith Surpasses Viv Richards, Ricky Ponting, Garfield Sobers For Massive Feat Against India | Cricket News

Steve Smith in action against India at the WTC Final.© AFP

Steve Smith needed just two balls on the second day of the World Test Championship final at the Oval against India to score his 31st ton. Smith’s ton placed him third among Australians with most Test centuries, behind Ricky Ponting (41) and Steve Waugh (32). Smith now has nine Test centuries against India. It is the joint-most by any batter along side England’s Joe Root. Smith has now surpassed Ricky Ponting, Viv Richards and Garfield Sobers – all of whom have eight tons each against India.

Among visiting batters with most Test hundreds in England, Steven Smith (7 tons) sits in the second place alongside Steve Waugh. Don Bradman is top-placed with 11 centuries.

Australian greats Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting have slammed India’s decision to drop premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for the World Test Championship final against Australia.
Ashwin, who is the No 1 bowler in Test cricket and India’s leading wicket-taker in the 2021-23 WTC cycle, was dropped as the Rohit Sharma-led side bolstered the pace ammunition by playing four seamers.

“I feel that Ravichandran Ashwin is such a key factor, the leading wicket taker in the Tests cycle is not there. There are a few factors worth pondering on in Team India’s perspective,” Hayden told ICC after the day one’s proceedings.

In the absence of Ashwin, left-armer Ravindra Jadeja is the sole spinner in the playing XI and he went wicketless as India struggled to break the 251-run partnership between Travis Head (146 batting) and Steve Smith (95 batting) on Day 1 of the WTC final.

With Head’s blistering century, his first in England, combined with Smith’s resolute show Australia took the day one honours with 327/3 on the board.

With PTI inputs

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