first_imgSteve Smith has been the pillar for the Australian side lately and has been led the side with flair and panache.The Australian captain remained unbeaten on 65 at close of day one’s play in the Boxing Day Test. He has been on a scintillating run in whites this year and has hammered 426 runs from four innings prior to the Boxing Day Test.  He started 2017 with a bang, slamming a gritty hundred against India in Pune and guided his team to a 333-run victory in the first Test of the four-match Test series against India. Smith was slammed in the following Test for a DRS spat with Virat Kohli, where he was accused of looking towards the dressing room while reviewing. Australia lost the match but in the following Test at Ranchi, he had the perfect answer to all the criticism. He slammed 178 in the third Test at Ranchi and a 111 in Dharamsala. Australia lost the series but Smith finished with 499 runs from four Tests and ended as the leading run-getter in the series.He was average in the two-match Test series against Bangladesh but cometh the hour, cometh the man. Smith slammed a brilliant unbeaten 141 in the Ashes opener at the Gabba and followed it up with a career-best 239 at the WACA in the third Test as Australia regained the prestigious urn with two matches to spare.Smith has been unbeaten in three consecutive Boxing Day Tests, having scored a total of 434 runs in matches against West Indies, Pakistan and now England. And the Three Lions veteran James Anderson hopes that the Australian captain makes some mistake or gets to face a really good ball and gets out as the Australian has been in the form of his life.advertisementJust another day at the office for the Aussie skipper #ohwhatafeeling @Toyota_Aus (@CricketAus) December 26, 2017″I would like to get him out but every now and then you come up against a player who’s in the form of his life. I think he is the leading run-scorer this year in Test cricket and obviously he is in a really hot streak. And as a bowler it can be tough coming up against someone like that.But it’s our job to try and a figure out a way to get him out. With the new ball, I beat the bat and I thought ‘here we go’. The next 11 balls I bowled he played fairly easily,” said Anderson.”It’s just one of those things, when someone’s in that kind of form you just got to hope that he makes a mistake or just hope you bowl a ball that’s good enough to get rid of him,” he added.Smith now has 1192 runs from 11 Test matches in 2017.What’s it like to bowl to Steve Smith at the moment? Jimmy Anderson has his say… #Ashes (@CricketAus) December 26, 2017Prior to Smith’s arrival, another Australian finally got some runs to woo the Boxing Day crowd at the MCG. Vice captain David Warner struck a 151-ball 103 to regain some lost form in Melbourne. But it was not that simple for ‘The Bull’. The southpaw fell to debutant Tom Curran on 99 to hand the debutant a dream start. As he walked towards the pavilion, the disappointment showed on the Aussie’s face while the young Englishman was seen celebrating a dream start. But, destiny had other ideas and Curran went sour in the space of few minutes. As Warner walked towards the pavilion, a TV replay showed that the Surrey pacer had bowled a no-ball of which Warner played a clumsy pull-shot that was caught at mid-on.Warner promptly returned to the crease as the terraces roared in delight and pushed a single on the next ball to raise his 21st Test century, leaving Curran pondering the agony of what could have been.Anderson limited the damage by having Warner caught behind for 103, but Curran finished his first day wicketless for 44 runs and Australia marched to 244 for three and a position of strength at stumps.”I was gutted for him,” pace veteran Anderson told reporters.”It was hard to watch really seeing the elation in his face, then watch it drained from his face seconds later when the big screen showed his foot came over the line.”It’s one of those things, you’ve got to learn the hard way and unfortunately for him it’s on debut at the Boxing Day Test match so I’m sure he’ll be behind the line from now on.”advertisementDavid Warner describes the hectic sequence of events on 99 today at the ‘G… #Ashes (@CricketAus) December 26, 2017Warner’s wicket put Anderson on 519 Test scalps, equal fifth on the all-time list with West Indies pace great Courtney Walsh.But it was a mostly frustrating day for he and his fellow quicks on a flat and slow MCG wicket.The drop-in pitch usually offers something for the bowlers in the first morning but proved to be a feather-bed for Australia, whose openers marched to 102 without loss at lunch after captain Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat.England rallied well to take two wickets and restrict Australia to 43 runs in the second session but Anderson felt the 88,172 spectators had been short-changed by the pitch.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img

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