Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia batsman Steve Smith has lauded captain Michael Clarke’s bravery after he made a sensational century against India on the second day of the first Test in Adelaide.
Clarke returned to the crease at the beginning of day two after retiring hurt midway through the first day with a back injury.
“He just came out and played beautifully,” Smith, who scored an unbeaten 162, said. “I think a few shots hurt him but he got himself into as many good positions as he could and he manipulated the field a little bit as well.
“He has done amazingly over the last couple of weeks, spending the whole time by Hughesy’s family’s side. Just the strength and courage he has shown through those times was unbelievable.
“He must be mentally drained coming into this game but the way he played speaks the world of that guy. He came out here and tried to do something for Hughesy and he certainly did that.”
Upon reaching his fifth Test century, Smith pointed his bat to the heavens in honour of his former team-mate and friend Phillip Hughes.
Hughes tragically passed away at the age of 25 when he was struck on the side of the neck by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales.
Speaking about Hughes’ death, Smith said: “The last couple of weeks have been very tough for every one of us. We’re all good mates with Hughesy, us three (Clarke and Warner), so I was sort of hoping all three of us would get runs and it worked out well for us in the end.
“I know that’s what Hughesy would have wanted – all of us to be out here doing the job – and he was with me, Pup (Clarke) and Warner all the way this innings.
“I think my hundred at Centurion against South Africa (in February) would probably be my best one so far in my book, but every hundred’s nice and hopefully I’ve got a few more [coming] this summer.”