Smith makes more history in MCG knock

Steve Smith has fallen short of a fourth-consecutive MCG century, but the Aussie skipper still achieved a momentous piece of Ashes history.

Smith was out early on day two of the fourth Test, chopping a Tom Curran delivery back onto his stumps for the debutant's first Test wicket.

VINTAGE COOK: Veteran hits century as England dominate Day 2

The Australian captain had gone an astonishing 1093 days since being dismissed at the MCG and was looking to become just the second player in history after Don Bradman to notch four-straight centuries at the venue.

In the previous three showpiece Boxing Day Tests, Smith had scored 192 against India, 134 not out against the West Indies and an unbeaten 165 last year against Pakistan.

Best since Bradman? Image: Getty

He'd scored an incredible 455 runs without being dismissed in Melbourne until he was finally out for 76 on Wednesday.

However he did pass 500 runs for the series, becoming just the seventh player in Ashes history to do so in back-to-back series, after he also notched over 500 runs on English soil in 2015.

Having compiled 141 not out in the series opener in Brisbane and a magnificent 239 at the WACA last time out, Smith continues to build a case he is Australia's best batsman since Bradman.

Smith has now scored 502 runs in the series at a stunning average of 125.50.

The record for most centuries in an Ashes series - jointly held by Bradman with Englishmen Wally Hammond and Herbert Sutcliffe - is four.

It would be no surprise if Smith joins them at some point in the next fortnight.

After stumps on day one, Jimmy Anderson admitted it would take either an unplayable delivery or uncharacteristic error to dismiss the world's best batsman.

"When someone is in that sort of form you have to hope for a mistake or hope you bowl a ball that's good enough to get rid of him," Anderson said.

"It felt like, especially with the new ball, I beat the bat and thought 'here we go'.

Smith. Image: Getty

"Then the next 11 balls I bowled he played fairly easily.

"He's obviously in a really hot streak and as a bowler it can be tough coming up against someone like that.

"But it's our job to come up with ways of getting him out."

Australia vice-captain David Warner described Smith as a "freak".

"We all wish we were half the batter Steve Smith is at the moment. He's seeing the ball like a watermelon and making it look so easy," Warner said after scoring 103 on Boxing Day.

Smith is set to finish the world's leading run-scorer in 2017, having helped himself to 1192 runs at 74.5.

with agencies