Steve Smith scored as many as 774 runs across seven innings. @Twitter/Cricket.Com.Au

Steve Smith made a sensational return to Test cricket and scored 774 runs across seven innings as Australia retained the urn even as the series ended in a 2-2 draw, with England winning the fifth and final Test at the Oval on Sunday.

Smith, who was suspended in the wake of ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year, scored as many as three hundreds, including a double, and two fifties.

The Australian missed the third Test after being hit by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the first innings of the second Test.

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But he continued from where he had left and scored 293 runs on return – 211 and 82 runs in the first and second innings respectively in the fourth Test – helping Australia retain the urn on the English soil for the first time since 2001.

The former Australian captain, despite scoring a chunk of runs was severely booed across venues since Australia set foot in England ahead of the World Cup 2019. However, as he walked back to the dressing room after being dismissed for 23 in the final innings of Ashes 2019, the crowd appreciated the Australian. Smith admitted that it meant a lot to him.

“It meant a lot to have that reception from the crowd today. It’s been an amazing couple of months with the World Cup and the Ashes, the cricket has been spectacular,” said Smith.

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“The series has ebbed and flowed. I’ve loved every minute and I’m really proud of how I’ve been able to perform for Australia and to bring the urn home,” continued Smith.

“You always want to get better as a player. You need to keep working hard and continue doing what helps your team win games,” added Smith, who won the Compton–Miller Medal for the second consecutive Ashes series.

While Matthew Wade scored a fighting ton, England managed to seal a convincing win in the final Test of the Ashes 2019, with a day to spare.

“You have always got to believe. The middle of the wicket really played well. Wade showed that if you hang in there you could score. But not enough people hung in there with him,” said Smith.

The Australian, who shared the dressing room with Archer while playing for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), appreciated the England pacer, saying he has a bright future.

“I saw Jofra last year at the IPL and realized he is a very special talent. He has got a very bright future,” concluded Smith.