Smith enjoys ‘special summer’

The Australian captain scored his fourth consecutive Test century, reaching 117, on day two of the fourth Test against India in Sydney.

???It has been a pretty special summer for me personally with some of the results that I’ve got,??? said Smith. ???And it was just another great moment to get a hundred at the SCG, my home ground, and my favourite place to play.???

Smith???s form represents a remarkable turnaround in fortunes. After averaging only 28.77 in his first five Tests, many considered him a laughing stock with a highly unorthodox technique.

After two years out of the team, Smith has averaged 58.05 since his recall in 2013, scoring eight hundreds in 21 Tests.

???Getting dropped is always disappointing,??? he said. ???For me, it was about going back to state cricket, finding a technique and a temperament to firstly succeed at that level and then the level above.

???I am really happy with the progress I’ve made in the last 18 months or so.???

His hundred in Sydney ??? his fourth in a row ??? means Smith joins the likes of Don Bradman (who did the same three times), Matthew Hayden (twice), Jack Fingleton and Neil Harvey in being the only Australians to do so ??? and is the first ever to score three in a row as captain.

The stand-in skipper isn???t concerned with personal records though.

Australia lead by 501 in the final Test of the series after declaring on 572-7 before India finished the day on 71-1, with Mitchell Starc taking the solitary wicket of Murali Vijay for a third-ball duck.

???I always look to put the team first,??? he said. ???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.???

???Hopefully we can close out this Test match in a good fashion ??? we bowled well tonight and I thought Mitchell Starc in particular was outstanding.???

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