Aussie skipper demands centuries from his batsmen against Proteas

 

Australia were restricted to 243 runs in the first innings at St. George’s Park and were bowled out for 239 runs in the second to give the Proteas an easy victory chase of 101 runs to level the series at 1-1. While no Australian has managed a century, the home side has had two rookie opener Aiden Markram scoring a gallant 143 in the loss in Durban and AB de Villiers setting the platform for victory at Port Elizabeth with an unbeaten 126.

“We haven’t got a hundred so far in this series, so that’s not ideal,” Smith also added “Mitchell Marsh probably deserved a hundred in the first test to be fair, but if we’re getting batters scoring big hundreds it certainly helps us out a hell of a lot. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do that so far in this series, but we’ve got a good opportunity to turn it around in the next.”

After a rollicking home summer against England, the prolific Australia captain has also been down on his own lofty standards. His highest score was 56 at Durban and he was dismissed cheaply twice in Port Elizabeth. Smith has scored only one ton against South Africa - an even 100 in his first match at Centurion in 2014 - and only three fifties in 14 innings against the same opponents since. The four-test series resumes in Cape Town from March 22 and Australia will be glad for the extended break as all-rounder Marsh races to recover from a groin strain.

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