Just a few days after Joe Root bagged the top spot in the elusive list of Test cricketers, Steve Smith left behind former India skipper Virat Kohli to join the ex-England captain as the Aussie broke his century drought. He achieved the feat on the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in the two-match series in Galle.
After opting to bat first, Australia suffered a quick blow as they lost opener David Warner in just the fifth over. Usman Khawaja then combined with Marnus Labuschagne to stitch a 55-run stand before Australia lost their second opener as well. But the visitors recovered from the second blow in spectacular fashion as Labuschagne combined with Smith to weave a phenomenal 134-run stand. En route, he notched up his century as well and shortly after his dismissal, Smith ended his century drought to score his 28th career ton in red-ball cricket.
With the century, Smith went past Kohli in the all-time list to join Root and take the 15th spot in the table which also implies that the two are now the leading century-scorers among active cricketers.
This was Smith's first Test century since his 131 against India in Sydney in January 2021. He has since crossed the half-century mark seven other times but reached the triple-figure mark on his eighth attempt.
This also places him fifth in the all-time list among Australia batters as he went past former captain Michael Clarke and now stands a century behind Don Bradman's tally. Ricky Ponting still leads the chart with 41 tons, followed by Steve Waugh (32) and Matthew Hayden (30).
Kohli meanwhile has continued to struggle to reach the much-eluded century mark. The last time it had happened was back in November of 2019, in the historic Pink Ball Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata where he had scored a match-winning 131. It remains his last international century.