Sydney Test: Team comes first for record-breaker Steve Smith
Sydney: Steve Smith joined the greats yesterday with his fourth century of the series as India hung in after the shock loss of an early wicket on the second day of the final Test in Sydney.
Bradman raises his bat in 1930 and Smith raises his bat yesterday
The Aussie skipper became only the third batsman along with Don Bradman and Jacques Kallis to score tons in four consecutive Tests in the same series as his team posted a total beyond 500 for the fourth Test running.
Bradman had four three-figure innings against India in 1947-48. Smith contributed 117 in Australia's first innings declaration of 572 for seven. At the close, India were 71 for one to trail Australia by 501 with KL Rahul on 31 and Rohit Sharma hitting on 40 not out.
"I thought our whole top six played really well," Smith said. "We've relied a lot on the tail in the last couple of Test matches and I said the batters had to step up in this match.
The whole top six got above 50 which I don't think has happened before. That's outstanding for us. It's not the kind of wicket I think where you can blast sides out. It's about staying patient and hopefully the patience pays off."
Steve Smith pulls away to a century against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday. Pics/Getty Images
Left-armer Mitchell Starc, bowling with fire and rhythm, slanted one across Vijay and coaxed a snick to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
The day belonged to Smith, who added another century to his unbeaten 162 in Adelaide, 133 in Brisbane and 192 in Melbourne in this series. "It's been a pretty special summer for me personally, obviously with some of the results that I've got," Smith said.
Team comes first
"But look, I always put the team first, I think the success the team has had over the last little bit has been outstanding and we're in another good position in this Test match."
Australia passed 500 for the fourth Test of the series, a feat last registered against the Garry Sobers-led West Indies at home in 1968-69.
Smith was out just before lunch when he was caught behind off Umesh Yadav ending his 208-ball knock spiced with 15 fours.
He has 698 runs in the series at an average of 139.6, placing him third behind Bradman (715) and Ricky Ponting (706) for most runs in a series against India.
Smith is having an extraordinary purple patch and has now scored six centuries in the first innings of his last seven Tests at home. Watson again missed out on what would have been only his fifth Test century when hoisted Mohammed Shami straight to R Ashwin at deep midwicket for 81.