Steve Smith's shock call on cricket future after century in third Test

The Aussie superstar has opened up on his future in cricket after making his 30th Test century against South Africa at the SCG.

Steve Smith, pictured here making a shock call on his Test future after scoring his 30th century.
Steve Smith made a shock call on his Test future after scoring his 30th century. Image: Cricket.com/Getty

Steve Smith has made the shock revelation that he doesn't know how much longer he'll be playing Test cricket, saying he'll treat his future on a tour-by-tour basis. Smith made his 30th Test century at the SCG on Thursday, going past Don Bradman's career mark of 29.

He also moved past Michael Clarke into fourth on the all-time run-scorer's list for Australia. But the 33-year-old has since revealed that he might not be playing Test cricket for much longer.

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Australia are facing the prospect of a changing of the guard in the next few years, with openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja both 36 and Smith not far behind at 33. Earlier this summer Smith admitted he doubted he'd be playing long enough to break Ricky Ponting's record of 41 Test centuries.

But speaking after stumps in the third Test against South Africa on Thursday, Smith elaborated on how close he is to calling it quits. The New South Welshman said he couldn't guarantee how many more home Test summers he would play.

"We'll see. I'm enjoying it at the moment," Smith told reporters after Australia went to stumps at 4-475. "I really can't say how long I'll play for. I'm not sure.

"I'll take it one tour at a time, just enjoy it, enjoy training and trying to get better as well. Whilst I'm doing that, I'm happy playing but I don't know how long that'll last."

Smith said one of his priorities has been passing on his vast experience to younger players. "For me, it's about trying to get better and try to help some of the other batters coming through," he said.

"Just try and impart as much knowledge of conditions and ways to go about it. If I can say something and see that lightbulb go on when someone figures something out, I get a big thrill out of that."

After his comments inadvertently caused somewhat of a storm, Smith moved to calm the waters on Friday morning. Speaking to Fox Sports he said: “I’m always very cryptic with that (retirement) stuff. But I’m not going anywhere, I’m comfortable with where everything is at, we’ve got a few good tours coming up, I’m excited, and I’m still trying to get better.

“Whilst I still have that hunger and eagerness to try and improve, particularly to help some of the batters coming through ... while I’m doing all that I’m enjoying myself and I have no plans for retirement.”

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Smith's latest century was the fourth in his career at the SCG, equalling Khawaja and only trailing Ponting (six) in tons scored at the famous ground. His knock of 104 also helped him become just the sixth man to have scored more than 1000 Test runs in Sydney.

With one more century he will go clear of Matthew Hayden into outright third place on the list of hundreds scored by Australians and will be only one behind Steve Waugh (32) in second place. "I don't play for that kind of stuff but it was cool to look up and see my name amongst those great players," he said. "It was pretty special."

Steve Smith, pictured here after scoring a century in the third Test between Australia and South Africa.
Steve Smith celebrates after scoring a century in the third Test between Australia and South Africa. (Photo by Brett Hemmings - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Steve Smith lauds Usman Khawaja after SCG dominance

Smith's fourth century at the SCG came just minutes after Khawaja also reached that mark with his third-consecutive ton at the ground. Khawaja finished day two on 195 not out after rain cruelled his attempt to reach 200 before stumps.

"He is at the top of his game," Smith said. "He is scoring runs at will, batting beautifully.

"He, like Davey (Warner), can play for as long as they like. They are both just playing really well.

"It was a great innings. He played exceptionally well from ball one. He hit his areas, was nice and patient when he needed to be, played the spin well. Hopefully he can get 200 or even 300 (more runs) tomorrow."

Smith said the Aussies are aiming to bat big on Friday to secure a total that would allow them not to bat again. Bowling South Africa out cheaply and enforcing the follow-on appears the only viable way the Aussies can win the final Test of the series, with 43 overs lost to poor weather on the first day and more on the way.

"If we can bat pretty big in this first innings it can give us some options potentially," Smith said. It seems like it rains all the time here for Test matches, which isn't ideal when you have a dry surface and you want that spin and reverse swing coming into play."

with AAP

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