After his man of the match performance in the first test against England, Steve Smith was hailed by Australia skipper Tim Paine on Monday.
The visitors defeated England by 258 runs with Smith smashing tons in both innings. The Three Lions were asked to chase a target of 398. However, their innings collapsed for just 146 runs, collapsing to 97/7 in the post-lunch session on the final day.
For Australia, Nathan Lyon took 6/49 and fast bowler Pat Cummins 4/32, who took his tally to 100 Test dismissals. The Aussies enjoyed their first win over England at Edgbaston in all formats since 2001. It was also the year when Australia last won the Ashes in England.
Smith scored 144 and 142 in his first match, after being imposed a 12-month ban from International cricket. He was banned alongside Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft following a ball-tampering incident in South Africa.
The 30-year-old’s knock in the first innings was pivotal considering the fact that Australia battled back from 122/8 to reach 284.
In the second innings, Smith and Wade both chipped in with a century, as Australia went on to impose a massive target.
“I thought we were certainly up against it at that stage but we had the best player in the world at the crease,” said Australia skipper Tim Paine. “Steve showed his class in both innings and we were running out of things to say about Smithy. He’s probably the best Test batsman we have ever seen. We are lucky to witness it.”
“Nathan bowled superbly but our three quicks took a lot of pressure off him at the other end as well. The seamers were sensational. We thought we could improve on our first-innings performance with the ball. All those guys are world-class performers. This morning all four of them were sensational.
Tim concluded by saying that the boys handled the pressure quite well as the crowd here in England will be against us in every game we play.
The second test of the Ashes starts on August 14 at the ‘Home of Cricket’, Lord’s.