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‘Best since Bradman’: Brilliant Steve Smith innings saves us from Ashes embarrassment

Former Australian captain Steve Smith has made a stunning return from suspension, producing one of greatest knocks from an Australian batsman to save the visitors from complete embarrassment on Day 1 of the First Ashes Test.

Smith scored 144 in front of a hostile English crowd, to steer Australia to 284.

It could have been a lot worse, with Australia teetering at 8-122 as Peter Siddle — he was a surprise addition to the bowling stocks with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood left out — walked to the crease.

But Siddle proved a worthy partner for Smith, posting 44 from 85 balls.

The rest of Australia’s top order, including wicket keeper captain Tim Paine, contributed only a measly 64 runs between them.

Smith’s 144, his 24th century and fourth in England, came from 219 balls.

In response, England scored 10 runs from two overs before stumps.

“I think it’s got to be one of my best hundreds, definitely,” Smith said afterwards

“First Ashes Test Match, the ball was doing a fair bit in the middle, so I had to work really hard.”

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper this morning refers to Smith as Australia’s second best batsman behind Sir Don Bradman.

“Based purely on numbers, the answer has to be yes,” Jon Anderson told Ross and John.

Click PLAY to hear the full chat on 3AW Breakfast

(Image: Ryan Pierse / Getty Images)