Smith has scored as many hundreds as Pujara did in 2017 © Getty Images
Smith has scored as many hundreds as Pujara did in 2017 © Getty Images

Only six batsmen have completed 1,000 runs in Tests in 2017. Cheteshwar Pujara, with 4 hundreds and 6 fifties, tops the list ahead of Dean Elgar (1,097), Virat Kohli (1,059), Dimuth Karunaratne (1,031), Dinesh Chandimal (1,003).

Before the third Ashes Test, Steven Smith had 888 runs in 9 Tests. He had as many hundreds as Pujara did. He accumulated a glorious 239 at Perth, and is now at the second spot in the list. He is 14 runs away from Pujara’s 1,140-run tally.

Player M Inns Runs
Cheteshwar Pujara 11 18 1,140
Steven Smith 10* 18 1,127
Dean Elgar 11 20 1,097
Virat Kohli 10 16 1,059
Dimuth Karunaratne 13 26 1,031
Dinesh Chandimal 12 24 1,003

Australia took a 259-run lead in the first innings, declaring immediately after lunch. If England clear deficit, set a target, and Australia lose early wickets, then only Smith will bat again. Even if he does, he has the Boxing Day Test to dethrone Pujara from the top. This, however, is the fourth consecutive time Smith has scored over 1,000 runs in a calendar year. Only Matthew Hayden (5 times) is ahead of Smith.

India and Sri Lanka do not have a Test in December, while Dean Elgar will play against Zimbabwe in a four-day Test on December 26.