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India v Australia

‘Essentially I got five good 20s’: Steve Smith rates famous Pune hundred a ‘fluke’

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

In a lively Instagram Q&A session, Steve Smith passed a perhaps surprising assessment of one of his most famous Test innings, his 109 against India at Pune in 2017.

The knock came in the third innings of one of the rarest events in modern cricket: an Indian home Test defeat. On a sharply turning surface, Steve O’Keefe claimed identical first and second-innings figures of 6-35 as India slumped to what would be one of just three losses at home in the 2010s. Smith’s 109 was more than India made as a team in either innings, and was chosen as Wisden’s Test innings of 2017.

However, when asked for “some words” about the performance, Smith played down its greatness. “I got dropped five times so essentially I got five good 20s,” he wrote. “Fluke!”

On other areas of Indian cricket, Smith was complimentary. He rated Ravi Jadeja as the best current fielder in the world, described the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai as having an “amazing atmosphere” and called the IPL his favourite tournament that he has played in.

And while he called Virat Kohli a “freak”, his pick for the Indian player who has impressed him the most was also something of a curve ball, with Smith choosing KL Rahul, who he rated as a “very good player”.

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