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Smith demands centuries from Aussie batsmen

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After a rollicking home summer against England, the prolific Australia captain has also been down on his own lofty standards

Steve Smith captain of Australia leads his team off after losing to the Proteas during day four of the second 2018 Sunfoil Test match at St Georges Park, Port Elizabeth.

Australia captain Steve Smith has demanded his team’s batsmen lift their output and score centuries against South Africa in the wake of their humbling six-wicket loss in the second Test at Port Elizabeth.

Australia were restricted to 243 in the first innings at St. George’s Park and were bowled out for 239 in the second to give the Proteas an easy victory chase of 101 to level the series at 1-1.

While no Australian has managed a century, the home team has had two – rookie opener Aiden Markram scoring a gallant 143 in the loss in Durban and AB de Villiers setting the platform for victory at Port Elizabeth with an unbeaten 126.

“We haven’t got a hundred so far in this series, so that’s not ideal,” Smith told Australian radio station SEN.

“Mitchell Marsh probably deserved a hundred in the first Test to be fair, but if we’re getting batters scoring big hundreds it certainly helps us out a hell of a lot.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do that so far in this series, but we’ve got a good opportunity to turn it around in the next.”

After a rollicking home summer against England, the prolific Australia captain has also been down on his own lofty standards.

His highest score was 56 at Durban and he was dismissed cheaply twice in Port Elizabeth.

Smith has scored only one ton against SA – an even 100 in his first match at Centurion in 2014 – and only three fifties in 14 innings against the same opponents since.

“I’ve played a lot more now since 2014 and the more you play, the more people have plans to try to keep you quiet and those kind of things,” Smith said.

Reuters