Smith revels in 'dream' Test return

Smith revels in dream Test return

Birmingham - England batting coach Graham Thorpe also praised Smith's two innings


Published: Mon 5 Aug 2019, 11:01 PM

Last updated: Tue 6 Aug 2019, 1:03 AM

Australia's Steve Smith insisted he had never lost faith in his ability as his "dream comeback" to Test cricket continued with a second hundred in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston.
Smith made 142 in Australia's second innings 487-7 declared on Sunday after the star batsman's 144 bailed them out to 284 following a collapse to 122-8 in their first innings.
Former Australia captain Smith and then deputy David Warner were both given 12-month bans for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal last year, with Cameron Bancroft - who actually applied sandpaper to the ball during a Test against South Africa in Cape Town - hit with a nine-month suspension by Cricket Australia.
All three batsmen are making their Test returns in this match, although Smith and Warner's international comeback came during the World Cup, where Australia lost to eventual champions England in an Edgbaston semifinal last month.
"I've never doubted my ability," Smith told reporters after stumps.
"But, it's kind of a dream comeback in a way. To be able to score two hundreds in a match, in the first Ashes match, it's something I have never done in any form of cricket before in my life. It's incredibly special."
He added: "It feels like Christmas morning every morning getting to come and do this."
England batting coach Graham Thorpe praised Smith's two innings by saying: "In many ways you have to admire it and appreciate you are watching someone who is a fantastic player."
England were without James Anderson for the whole of Australia's second innings after their all-time leading Test wicket-taker remained sidelined with a calf injury that meant he bowled just four overs in the match.
Anderson missed last week's Test win over Ireland with calf trouble, but former England batsman Thorpe defended the decision to bring him back for this match.
"A guy who has played as many Test matches as he has, we have to trust his view," he insisted. 

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