Steve Smith's sledge for Marnus Labuschagne after century at SCG

Marnus Labuschagne's motor-mouth might have inspired Steve Smith to his historic Test hundred at the SCG.

Steve Smith does the 'chainsaw' celebration on the left, with Marnus Labuschagne pictured grinning on the right.
Steve Smith's chainsaw celebration following his 30th Test hundred was sparked by an amusing sledge from teammate Marnus Labuschagne. Pictures: Getty Images

Leave it to Marnus Labuschagne to provoke perhaps one of the cheekiest celebrations seen throughout Steve Smith's storied Test career. Seemingly taking a page out of Brett Lee's book, Smith pulled out a brief chainsaw celebration after scoring his 30th Test hundred during the third Test against South Africa at the SCG.

It turns out the chainsaw celebration had been inspired by a chirpy Labuschagne in the pavilion on day one, soon after the No.3 batter's wicket fell. Frustrated after copping a ripping delivery from Proteas paceman Anrich Nortje, Labuschagne was out for 79 and playfully looked to get back at the former skipper.

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“I think it was this morning, Marn was complaining about getting ‘chainsawed.’ Anrich’s ball that got him out kicked up a bit, and chainsawed,” Smith said. “I said to him, ‘I thought you were out caught on about 70 anyway, so you’ll be right.’

“He goes, ‘Stop being so negative, Steve. I hope you get chainsawed today.’ So I said, ‘Alright, when I get 100 I’ll reference the chainsaw.’ So that was essentially it.”

Trust Labuschagne to attempt to sledge his own teammate, but the attempt to tempt fate didn't quite pan out, with Smith hitting a century that saw him bypass Don Bradman's 29 tons, as well as surpass Michael Clarke to become the fourth-highest Test run scorer for Australia.

His luck wouldn't last though, with his wicket falling on the next ball in utterly anticlimactic fashion. Smith was out caught and bowled to spinner Keshav Maharaj, whose deliveries had previously been belted from pillar to post by Smith and opener Usman Khawaja.

Khawaja was desperately unlucky to be left stranded on 195 not out when rained once again forced a premature end to play on day two. He and Matt Renshaw are set to continue the innings, weather permitting, on day three.

Steve Smith opens door to retirement after memorable century

Having surpassed two greats of Australian cricket in a single innings on day two, Smith left cricket fans stunned when speaking to media after the close of play. The 33-year-old former skipper had previously admitted Ricky Ponting's Australian record of 41 centuries was more than likely out of reach, but his comments about retirement are far from the only one made by a veteran Aussie batter this summer.

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.

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.

Steve Smith raises his bat after hitting his 30th test hundred. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Steve Smith raises his bat after hitting his 30th test hundred. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

"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."

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