Ashes 2019: Australia’s premier batsman Steve Smith has not put a foot wrong since making a comeback to Test cricket after serving a ban for ball-tampering. With 82 in the second innings at Old Trafford, Smith registered his 9th consecutive fifty-plus score in Tests. He also equalled a Virat Kohli and Brian Lara record. Smith has now scored 600 plus runs in a three or more Test series. Bradman is atop of the tree. Sir Donald Bradman achieved this feat six times in his illustrious career. Smith, Kohli and Lara have done it on three occasions. The list also has Sir Garfield Sobers and Ian Harvey.

600+ runs in three or more Test series:
Don Bradman 6
Steve Smith 3*
Ian Harvey 3
Virat Kohli 3
Brian Lara 3
Garfield Sobers 3

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The current world No 1 batsman already has amassed a phenomenal 671 runs in merely five innings at a staggering average of 134.20, which includes a double hundred, two centuries and two fifties. When he made a Test return, Kohli was the No 1 batsman in the world, but it took the Australian genius merely three innings to dethrone the Indian captain. Smith now has 11 Tes hundreds against England in 45 innings.

Meanwhile, Australia bossed the proceedings on Day 4 of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford. They set England a target of 383 and need to take eight wickets on the final day to take a 2-1 lead in the series and retain the Ashes.

England was left rattled in the very first over of their second innings with Pat Cummins dismissing Rory Burns and Joe Root off consecutive deliveries. Jason Roy managed to deny Cummins his hat-trick. He managed to stick around with Joe Denly, who was his opening partner until the last Test before he was demoted to number four and England’s overnight total is 18/2.