Steven Smith ends 2017 as the highest run-getter in Tests © Getty Images
Steven Smith ends 2017 as the highest run-getter in Tests © Getty Images

Steven Smith slammed his 23rd hundred in the fourth Ashes Test at Melbourne. Australian dreams of inflicting an Ashes whitewash were quashed. Smith’s resilience ensured hosts a draw. Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad had done well to place England in a winning position, but the visitors faced the Smith roadblock. Smith said he has been working on his batting to keep ahead of English bowlers and hopes to keep ‘getting better’. He has already piled up 604 runs in 6 innings in this series at 151.

“I’ve had to work really hard but I feel like my game’s in really good order,” Smith said. “I’m adapting to each of the bowlers, I’m changing my plans to them and how they’re trying to get me out. Hopefully, I can just keep working and keep getting better as well.”

Smith’s career average reads 63.55, which is second only to Don Bradman’s 99.94. He emulated Bradman in the Melbourne Test by becoming the only other batsman to score four consecutive centuries at this venue.

Steven Smith spoils Alastair Cook's double-hundred efforts; 4th Ashes Test ends in a draw
Steven Smith spoils Alastair Cook's double-hundred efforts; 4th Ashes Test ends in a draw

“I think playing this game you can never be satisfied and think you’re too good for the game or anything, the game can come back to bite you pretty quickly. I just love batting… I feel like I’m hitting the ball really well at the moment and hopefully I can end the series really well in Sydney as well,” he said. Smith ended 2017 as the highest run-getter. His best score 239 too came earlier this month, at Perth. England and Australia will play the final Test of the series at Sydney from January 4.