Australia stand-in captain Steven Smith has called on his bowlers to be patient on the benign surface at the Sydney Cricket Ground after completing his fourth Test century in as many matches against India on Wednesday.
Smith, who replaced injured skipper Michael Clarke after the first Test, added to his incredible run of form with a composed 117 as Australia declared on 572 for seven in their first innings at the SCG.
The tourists lost in-form opener Murali Vijay for a duck on the third ball to left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc but recovered to reach 71-1 at stumps.
“I thought Mitchell Starc was outstanding tonight the way he amped it up and bowled a couple of quick spells,” Smith said after scoring his eighth Test ton.
“With a bit of luck we could have had two or three wickets. It’s about coming out in the morning and building as much pressure as we can.”
“It’s not the kind of wicket where you can blast sides out. It’s about staying patient, and hopefully the patience pays off.”
The home side’s top six batsmen all made at least a fifty against the hapless Indian bowlers to hand Australia, who have already won the series 2-0, the control.
Smith was again the hero as he followed up his 162 not out in the first test in Adelaide, 133 in the second in Brisbane and 192 in the third in Melbourne with another hundred.
“It’s been a pretty special summer for me personally, obviously with some of the results that I’ve got,” the 25-year-old Smith added.
“But, look, I always put the team first. I think the success the team has had over the last little bit has been outstanding and we’re in another good position in this Test match.
“I thought our whole top six played really well. We’ve relied a lot on the tail in the last couple of Test matches and I said the batters had to step up in this match.
“The whole top six got above fifty which I don’t think has happened before. That’s outstanding for us.”