Steve Smith’s marvellous knock of 211 in Manchester means he has now tallied a ridiculous 1419 runs at 141.9 from his past 12 Test innings against England.
The former Aussie skipper now has 11 Ashes tons – Don Bradman (19) and Jack Hobbs (12) are the only players with more.
In the video above: Smith’s incredible knock
All of the talk leading up to the decisive fourth Test, which comes with the series level at 1-1, was how Smith would handle mental demons and a Jofra Archer bouncer barrage in his Test return from concussion.
By the end of play on day two at Old Trafford, where the maestro manipulated the field in yet another masterclass that lasted almost eight and a half hours, the chatter was once again focused on comparisons between Smith and Bradman.
SMITH’S STUNNING ASHES STREAK
143 at the Oval (2015)
The superstar’s final knock before he replaced Michael Clarke as captain. Too late to retain the urn but a sign of what was to come.
141no at the Gabba (2017)
Set the tone for the series and laid the platform for a 10-wicket victory, dragging Australia from 4-76 to a match-winning total of 328.
40, 6 at Adelaide Oval (2017)
A rare failure in the pink-ball Test. Veteran paceman Jimmy Anderson says sledging the superstar helped get him out of his bubble.
239 at the WACA (2017)
The highest score of Smith’s decorated career. Delivered Australia a 3-0 victory that reclaimed the urn.
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76, 102no at the MCG (2017)
A match quickly forgotten by most present because of the docile pitch that produced a dull draw. Nonetheless, Australia may have been embarrassed if not for Smith.
83 at the SCG (2018)
Fumed at himself for chipping a catch back to Moeen Ali. Declared at 7-649 as his team won by an innings and 23 runs.
144,142 at Edgbaston (2019)
Dream Test comeback from a year-long suspension for his role in the Cape Town cheating scandal. Almost cried upon reaching three figures; pushed Australia from 8-122 to 284 and was the difference in Australia’s 251-run win.
92 at Lord’s (2019)
Struck on the neck by a bouncer from Jofra Archer. Retired hurt, returned and hit three more boundaries before being trapped lbw by Chris Woakes. Woke up with a delayed concussion and was substituted out of the contest.
211 at Old Trafford (2019)
Made a mockery of England’s attack and suggestions he would be affected by the nasty scare at the home of cricket.
SMITH’S SUPERB NUMBERS
*Smith has tallied 1419 runs at 141.9 from his past 12 Test innings against England.
*Smith now has 11 Ashes tons. Don Bradman (19) and Jack Hobbs (12) are the only players with more.
*No Englishman has posted more Ashes tons in England than Smith (6).