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Watch: Shardul Thakur works magic, grabs Steve Smith chop-on with first ball of day two in World Test Championship final

Shardul Thakur bowls Steve Smith
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: Shardul Thakur dismissed Steve Smith with his first ball of the second day of the World Test Championship 2021-23 final at the Kia Oval.

India had reduced Australia to 76-3 on day one bef0re Steve Smith and Travis Head sent them on a leather hunt for the rest of the day. They raced to 327-3 by stumps as Smith finished the day on 95 and Head on 146.

Smith took three balls from Mohammed Siraj on the third morning to pick up two boundaries and reach his ninth Test hundred against India – a record he now shares with Joe Root. For Australia, Smith’s 31 Test hundreds are behind only Ricky Ponting’s 41 and Steve Waugh’s 32.


Among non-English batters, only Don Bradman (11) has more hundreds on English soil than Smith’s seven, a count also matched by Waugh.

Siraj had Head caught behind for a 174-ball 163, while Mohammed Shami had Cam Green brilliantly caught by Shubman Gill at slip, but Smith marched on with barely a false shot, looking in ominous form.

Rohit Sharma replaced Siraj and Shami after they bowled six overs each. After Umesh Yadav bowled an over, Rohit summoned Shardul Thakur at the other end.

Thakur’s first ball was a harmless ball pitched on off-stump, at 131 kph. It swung away a bit, and Smith – after facing 267 balls without fuss – had little reason to go after it.

Yet, he did, and the ball took the inside edge and crashes on to the stumps. Smith’s frustration was obvious as he walked back.

The last time Thakur played at The Oval was in 2021, against England. He had Ollie Pope playing on to the stumps in the first innings and Joe Root in the second, after both of them had been well set.

Watch Shardul Thakur bowl Steve Smith:


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