A new cricket documentary looking at how Australia rebuilt its reputation after the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal has provided a new insight into Steve Smith’s intense mindset.
After a 12-month ban from cricket following the shameful scenes that occurred in South Africa, Smith returned with an almighty bang as he made twin centuries in the first Ashes Test - his first Test back.
‘DOUBLE STANDARDS’: Australia's private fury over Virat Kohli antics
‘NEVER ACCEPTABLE’: Australia's Ashes nemesis details disgusting abuse
Facing a fired-up England attack and some below-the-belt treatment from the local crowds, Smith showed the world he was still the best batsman going around.
And if Nathan Lyon thought Smith had lost any of his drive and intensity, he was quickly put in his place.
In Amazon Prime’s new documentary ‘The Test’, Lyon reveals Smith’s brutal response when he joined the former captain at the crease during the first innings and relayed a message from the dressing rooms.
With Smith on 85 and Australia 9-210, Lyon told Smith the plan was to find a way to scrape a total of 250.
“Tugga (Steve Waugh) said ‘why don’t you work in tens’,” Lyon says in the documentary.
“I remember saying to Smudger (Smith), we get 10 more runs we get to 250.
“He goes, ‘shut the f*** up, let me bat, I’ll get it up to 300.’”
Australia didn’t quite make 300 – falling 16 runs short to be all out for 284 – but Smith was well and truly back as he made 144 off 219 balls.
“I thought of my wife who had been through that journey with me, my family, everyone that had been by my side and helping me in the difficult times,” Smith said.
“It was almost like a feeling of pride being able to get back and perform and score another hundred.
“It gave me confidence for the rest of the series to know that I was back and able to do my thing.”
How the Aussies silenced English crowd
Smith also revealed how booing and jeering from the English crowds actual had the opposite effect to what they would have wanted.
“I was in a bit of a bubble, guys booing me and stuff, it didn’t really bother me or get to me,” Smith said.
“If anything it probably did the opposite. It made me concentrate a little bit more …
“I like it when I get in my bubble and know that I’ve got that level of concentration going, that it’s going to take something good to get rid of me.”
By the fifth day of the Test Smith and the Aussies had silenced the Poms.
“I remember a few times basically going, ‘hey, listen to that, can you hear that boys? That’s silence,’” captain Tim Paine recalled.
“Day one, two, three and four, it was a battle to hear Dave and Steve at first and second slip.
“Then we got them five down on day five and I could talk to Wade at mid-off and we could hear each other as clear as a bell. That was incredibly satisfying.”
Australia won that first Test and went on to retain the Ashes on English soil for the first time since 2001 with a 2-2 series draw.
The Test is streaming on Amazon Prime now.