Steve Smith continued his good run of form ever since he made a comeback to playing in Australia colours.
In a pre-World Cup warm-up match against England in Southampton on Saturday, Smith scored a century amid boos and jeers from the crowd. He was eventually dismissed for 116 (102 balls, 4×8, 6×3) by Tom Curran in the last over the innings as Australia posted a total of 297/9.
Smith walked into the middle after the dismissal of David Warner (43) in the 17th over. Warner, who alongwith Smith had to serve out a 12-month ban in the aftermath of the 2018 Newlands ball tampering scandal, was subject to boos from the crowd at the Rose Bowl, which continued with the arrival of Smith. It was a mixture of boos and applause that rang from the stands when Smith raised his bat after crossing the three-figure mark.
However, Smith said in the mid-innings interview that he was unfazed by the crowd. “I’m pretty chilled, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I’m just happy to be back playing and doing a job for my team,” said the 29-year-old.
While Smith is yet to play an official match for Australia since the end of the 12-month ban, he was the part of the squad which recently played an unofficial series against New Zealand in Brisbane. Smith scored 22 in the first match and followed that up with unbeaten scores of 89 and 91.
He scored 76 in Australia’s first pre-World Cup warm-up match against the West Indies in Southampton.