England v South Africa, 1st Investec Test, The Oval, 3rd day July 21, 2012

Historic ton the fruit of Smith labours

63

Graeme Smith is due to leave England before the second Test to attend the birth of his first child but, as he marked his 100th Test with a century, his wife, the Irish singer Morgan Deane, joked on Twitter that her waters had broken already.

Smith, who will return in time to lead South Africa again at Headingley on August 2, laughed it off and said he tries not to read all her posts these days. "She's very impulsive, I'm trying to calm her down a bit," he said. "She's been very supportive though, considering she is going to give birth so soon."

If there was doubt about Smith's abilities as a batsman and leader, they have surely all been squashed. His 25th Test hundred was also his seventh against England, fifth in England and made him the seventh player to have scored a century on a landmark 100th Test.

Having also brought up big scores on both South Africa's previous tours here, combined with the fact that the team have never lost a Test when Smith has crossed the three-figure mark, his reputation is at its peak. The actual magnitude of what he has achieved hasn't formed a solid memory quite yet but he is starting to grasp what significance it has.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet. It was kind of surreal at the time. A lot of thoughts and emotions went through my head," Smith said. "It was a dream come true to come out and have the chance to do that. At one stage when Graeme Swann was spinning it past my bat, the hundred looked a long time away but once I fought through those tough times, it became a reality."

Smith said he expected a tough passage of play up front but knew that if he could see it through, there may be an opportunity to wrest control of the match. "It was a battle of attrition out there really," he said. "There weren't many scoring opportunities available to me so it was about being strong in my game plan. We expected that tactic from England this morning, that they would try and squeeze us as much as possible and cause us to make a mistake. We felt that if we could hold the game in that period of time we would be able to get a release somewhere."

After a cautious start, in which "the key factor was the way I left the ball this morning", Smith and Hashim Amla took 72 runs off the 13 overs before lunch, which included Smith's century. "When I got to 100, there was so many emotions: from the battle with Swann to knowing my wife is giving birth in three days' time," he said. "All those things were coming through. I don't even think I realised how I was celebrating. It is a blank moment in my mind."

There is still work to do before he turns his mind to fatherhood. "The way we bounced back with the ball has been probably the biggest achievement of this Test match so far," he said. "On day one, we were 50-50, we were solid without having an X-factor in our game. It's so easy to let the game drift from that position and be playing the rest of the Test match under massive pressure but we were able to keep England under pressure."

Now, Smith wants to go for the kill. He has already considered South Africa's strategy for closing out this match but was careful not to reveal too much. "I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves. We've got two guys, Amla and Jacques Kallis, close to milestones tomorrow and I would love them to get there," he said. "It's been a difficult wicket to push on and score greater than three runs an over but if we set up a good base, hopefully we can do that."

Although Smith expects a tighter effort from England, he was bullish in his assessment of whether South Africa has what it takes to win. "We need to respect our opponent, they have the ability to bounce back," he said. "But we want to have a chance to push for a victory. I believe we have the ability to win, if we set the game up right. If we give ourselves the chance to bowl out England, I believe we've got the armoury to do that."

David Saker, England's bowling coach, called the pitch "subcontinental" and expects it to deteriorate, which could set the stage for the legspinner Imran Tahir to ignite his South Africa career. Smith was hopeful that would be the case. "It is quite dusty and quite dry. There is a turn available and it will be a good opportunity for Imran to get in," he said. "His form looks pretty solid. I don't want to put too much pressure on him but, on day five, if we are bowling for the win, he will have to play a prominent role."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CustomKid on July 24, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    Why does Sachin always manage to a mention when he's got absolutely nothing to do with this series?? I mean really? Get over him, he's a great batsman sure but to mention him in this thread please.

    Mr Smith I was a great disliker of you back when your first took over a captain. Always claiming you would win this series and beat that team you were way too head strong and perhaps just a bit young for the roll. My how you have flourished. Without the attitude you've become a great leader and a brilliant opener and congratulations on your individual and teams success.

    Well done G.Smith and Co.

  • on July 23, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Well done SA... I am very pleased with the effort, especially the downfall of England!

  • Harmony111 on July 23, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    Contd. And the reason why players like Sachin, Ponting and Hayden are better players than Kallis is cos they have the ability to score big knocks consistently and on top of it, they do it fairly quickly. I would also add Amla (with a caveat) to this list as an after thought. They've got the best combination of both the worlds. And no doubt this is the reason why they are considered top notch Test batsmen as well as ODI batsmen. If anything then Kallis can be compared to Chanderpaul or Dravid or Cook. Kallis scores runs at a rate similar to these players and is as consistent as them - may be a bit more consistent. There is a reason why Kallis has only 1 double century in tests after 150 tests - he eats up too many balls to reach 150-160. An apt example is today - Kallis ought to have hastened after getting his 100 but he did that only marginally. I was hoping that he would get out so that ABD could score a quick 40 ball 70 but SA declared by that time.

  • Harmony111 on July 23, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    As far as the argument goes that Sachin is not great cos he never faced WI fast bowlers, well, I would say that I can turn this around and say the WI bowlers were themselves lucky...what now? And as for comparison with Kallis, no doubt Kallis has a A-Grade record but Kallis is not exactly an impact player. I am not even comparing Kallis to Sehwag or Gayle but to those who score slower but still make an impact. Players such as KP or Ponting or Sachin et al in tests and Kohli & Hayden et al in ODIs. Don't get me wrong - please don't pooh pooh this by saying that Kallis has a better record etc. I know some of you would scorn at me comparing Kallis with KP. But my point is, it is one thing to score piles of runs at a steady rate consistently and it is another thing to score runs quickly. Both these skills are to be appreciated. I like Kallis for the former and like the others for the latter reasons. But Kallis would rarely ever win a match due to his quick batting - has he?

  • Harmony111 on July 23, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    @StaalBurgher: May I say that the ONLY reason why Kallis has more wickets than Sachin is cos he has bowled a lot more than Sachin. How does it sound? Ridiculous, right? Similarly, it sounds ridiculous for someone to say that Sachin's got more runs cause he has played more tests - Well, it is his talent that he can survive this long, just like it is Kallis' talent with the ball. Btw, has Kallis ever won a match by bowling a last over like Sachin's in Hero Cup vs SA? Finally, I would like to tell you and other disgruntled readers here that it was not an Indian fan who brought Sachin into the context needlessly here. It was a fellow named "LESLEY95" who out of the blue compared Smith's 100 with Sachin's 100 100s, so I hope you would now blame him and not the Indians who are only trying to douse the fire started by others. Take Care - don't take so much offense, life is short and this series is only 3 test long. As I type Eng are 117/5 and may roll over before lunch - Won't it please you?

  • tenfan on July 23, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    To all Sachin bashers....even if you want to post mindless unwarranted anti Sachin comments, please restrict it to articles about Sachin. This article is on Smith and lets talk about him here. He is surely amongst one of the better batsmen and captains to have played international cricket and deserves to be appreciated for his contribution to world cricket.

  • Harmony111 on July 23, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Hmm. Firstly, it wasn't Indians who mentioned Sachin in this article first. It was some fellow named "LESLEY95" comparing Smith's 100 to Sachin's 100 (btw which one?). So since the Indians did not start the fire they should not be blamed. Next, if the tendency of someone is to compare anything done by anyone anywhere to anything done by Sachin then as a direct result the Sachin Fans are going to counter that by saying it wasn't such a big thing by the first player. I do admire Smith for his 100 and esp the occasion but in my mind a bigger occasion is that he is a soon-to-be-father and he got a 100. But if anyone says that this was a 100 better than any 100 Sachin has scored then obviously he does not know Cricket. I suppose I don't need to mention how graceful Smith looks while batting - I know this is a bitter comment but thats what anyone would feel if stupid comparisons are made. I do give it to Smith for a fab 100 but why get into Sachin needlessly all the time?

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 23, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    @Lourens Grobbelaar

    Read Randy's posts properly. In his commentary he is having a go at the weak english bowling NOT smiths batting. As a south african, stop being so south african.

    Randy's posts are a pleasure to read and long may they continue.

  • shakki on July 23, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    SA. Will show the Pakistan win over England, weren't a fluke. The problem with England in every sport is that they have a few decent results and all of a sudden they're the greatest. Lol. The truth is south Africa have performed home and away recently, therefore deserving of no1 status.

  • StaalBurgher on July 23, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    And why is Sachin brought up AGAIN?!! Just because there happens to be a billion Indians that rate him does not in fact make him the greatest of all time. Everyone knows he is an excellent batsman. No one denies it. No one is saying Graeme Smith is better than Sachin, because he isn't. Graeme is good, better than most will give him credit for, but his primary attribute for SA has always been his attitude and hard edge. His centuries have often been balls-to-the-wall game winning efforts. I don't know or care how that stacks up to Sachin or any other batsman because he deserves praise regardless of whether he is better or worse than another. Amla, Kallis, AB are all "better" batsmen than him but the SA team will be a lot less formidable without his presence. And people, the only reason Sachin has more runs and centuries than Kallis is because he has played 35 Tests more. Add in nearly 300 Test wickets and we all know who the greatest player is. ;)

  • CustomKid on July 24, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    Why does Sachin always manage to a mention when he's got absolutely nothing to do with this series?? I mean really? Get over him, he's a great batsman sure but to mention him in this thread please.

    Mr Smith I was a great disliker of you back when your first took over a captain. Always claiming you would win this series and beat that team you were way too head strong and perhaps just a bit young for the roll. My how you have flourished. Without the attitude you've become a great leader and a brilliant opener and congratulations on your individual and teams success.

    Well done G.Smith and Co.

  • on July 23, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Well done SA... I am very pleased with the effort, especially the downfall of England!

  • Harmony111 on July 23, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    Contd. And the reason why players like Sachin, Ponting and Hayden are better players than Kallis is cos they have the ability to score big knocks consistently and on top of it, they do it fairly quickly. I would also add Amla (with a caveat) to this list as an after thought. They've got the best combination of both the worlds. And no doubt this is the reason why they are considered top notch Test batsmen as well as ODI batsmen. If anything then Kallis can be compared to Chanderpaul or Dravid or Cook. Kallis scores runs at a rate similar to these players and is as consistent as them - may be a bit more consistent. There is a reason why Kallis has only 1 double century in tests after 150 tests - he eats up too many balls to reach 150-160. An apt example is today - Kallis ought to have hastened after getting his 100 but he did that only marginally. I was hoping that he would get out so that ABD could score a quick 40 ball 70 but SA declared by that time.

  • Harmony111 on July 23, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    As far as the argument goes that Sachin is not great cos he never faced WI fast bowlers, well, I would say that I can turn this around and say the WI bowlers were themselves lucky...what now? And as for comparison with Kallis, no doubt Kallis has a A-Grade record but Kallis is not exactly an impact player. I am not even comparing Kallis to Sehwag or Gayle but to those who score slower but still make an impact. Players such as KP or Ponting or Sachin et al in tests and Kohli & Hayden et al in ODIs. Don't get me wrong - please don't pooh pooh this by saying that Kallis has a better record etc. I know some of you would scorn at me comparing Kallis with KP. But my point is, it is one thing to score piles of runs at a steady rate consistently and it is another thing to score runs quickly. Both these skills are to be appreciated. I like Kallis for the former and like the others for the latter reasons. But Kallis would rarely ever win a match due to his quick batting - has he?

  • Harmony111 on July 23, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    @StaalBurgher: May I say that the ONLY reason why Kallis has more wickets than Sachin is cos he has bowled a lot more than Sachin. How does it sound? Ridiculous, right? Similarly, it sounds ridiculous for someone to say that Sachin's got more runs cause he has played more tests - Well, it is his talent that he can survive this long, just like it is Kallis' talent with the ball. Btw, has Kallis ever won a match by bowling a last over like Sachin's in Hero Cup vs SA? Finally, I would like to tell you and other disgruntled readers here that it was not an Indian fan who brought Sachin into the context needlessly here. It was a fellow named "LESLEY95" who out of the blue compared Smith's 100 with Sachin's 100 100s, so I hope you would now blame him and not the Indians who are only trying to douse the fire started by others. Take Care - don't take so much offense, life is short and this series is only 3 test long. As I type Eng are 117/5 and may roll over before lunch - Won't it please you?

  • tenfan on July 23, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    To all Sachin bashers....even if you want to post mindless unwarranted anti Sachin comments, please restrict it to articles about Sachin. This article is on Smith and lets talk about him here. He is surely amongst one of the better batsmen and captains to have played international cricket and deserves to be appreciated for his contribution to world cricket.

  • Harmony111 on July 23, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Hmm. Firstly, it wasn't Indians who mentioned Sachin in this article first. It was some fellow named "LESLEY95" comparing Smith's 100 to Sachin's 100 (btw which one?). So since the Indians did not start the fire they should not be blamed. Next, if the tendency of someone is to compare anything done by anyone anywhere to anything done by Sachin then as a direct result the Sachin Fans are going to counter that by saying it wasn't such a big thing by the first player. I do admire Smith for his 100 and esp the occasion but in my mind a bigger occasion is that he is a soon-to-be-father and he got a 100. But if anyone says that this was a 100 better than any 100 Sachin has scored then obviously he does not know Cricket. I suppose I don't need to mention how graceful Smith looks while batting - I know this is a bitter comment but thats what anyone would feel if stupid comparisons are made. I do give it to Smith for a fab 100 but why get into Sachin needlessly all the time?

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 23, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    @Lourens Grobbelaar

    Read Randy's posts properly. In his commentary he is having a go at the weak english bowling NOT smiths batting. As a south african, stop being so south african.

    Randy's posts are a pleasure to read and long may they continue.

  • shakki on July 23, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    SA. Will show the Pakistan win over England, weren't a fluke. The problem with England in every sport is that they have a few decent results and all of a sudden they're the greatest. Lol. The truth is south Africa have performed home and away recently, therefore deserving of no1 status.

  • StaalBurgher on July 23, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    And why is Sachin brought up AGAIN?!! Just because there happens to be a billion Indians that rate him does not in fact make him the greatest of all time. Everyone knows he is an excellent batsman. No one denies it. No one is saying Graeme Smith is better than Sachin, because he isn't. Graeme is good, better than most will give him credit for, but his primary attribute for SA has always been his attitude and hard edge. His centuries have often been balls-to-the-wall game winning efforts. I don't know or care how that stacks up to Sachin or any other batsman because he deserves praise regardless of whether he is better or worse than another. Amla, Kallis, AB are all "better" batsmen than him but the SA team will be a lot less formidable without his presence. And people, the only reason Sachin has more runs and centuries than Kallis is because he has played 35 Tests more. Add in nearly 300 Test wickets and we all know who the greatest player is. ;)

  • StaalBurgher on July 23, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    I don't understand why people think they are using the term "sub-continental" as an excuse. To me it is just a description of the pitch, i.e. low and slow. No excuses are being made. England admit they batted poorly on Day 2, they gave away soft wickets. If anything this track is too flat because if England had batted properly and lasted another session this Test would almost certainly have been a draw. At least now there is still a good chance for a result.

  • on July 22, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    @ ejsiddiqui

    Technically, the same could be said for Jason Gillespie and double tons ;-)

  • The_bowlers_Holding on July 22, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    Well played SA truly awesome batting and bowling so far the superior side by far, almost scored more in one innings than India did all of last summer (and took more wickets.)

  • on July 22, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    Congratlations to Hashim Amla for getting first triple century for South Africa, to smith for scoring century in hundredth test, and to Kallis for scoring yet another test century. They all have played very well!

  • on July 22, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    In response to the coaches 'Sub-continental' remark: I'd just like to point out that South Africa has managed (on average) to take a wicket every 70 balls, while England have managed a wicket every 567 balls. It sounds to me as if someone is looking for an excuse while the batters are trying to convince the selectors the pitch is dangerous.

  • on July 22, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    Congrats to Graeme Smith.

  • factoryard on July 22, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    All you guys, listen, sachin is good yes but i dont think he is as good as many of you think. Firstly what has he really done for winning anything for india, count it out. I also think he is not the second best batsman ever, as a matter of fact he is not even the best indian batsman. I put sunny gavaskar as india's best ever.Few batsmen could stand up to the west indian bowlers of the past as sunny did and came out with as many centuries & runs. sachin had some chin music from the west indian of ambrose, bishop,walsh and was hiding before he failed. sachin just wants record thats why he is still playing.

  • cheguramana on July 22, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    Great batting from Graeme Smith. really, he shud be considered one of the great captains and batsmen of the modern era. amazing how he took up captaincy at the tender age of 23! and hes kept plugging away since then : a giant in determination and character.

    As for England : they look pathetic. is this the world's No.1 side ? playing at home ? whats wrong with their so called 'greatest bowling attack in the world'? whats with the comment 'sub-continental conditions' by the English coach ? surely England is supposed to provide challenging cricketing conditions with swing, seam and bounce ? i am sure the English media will come up with plenty of excuses...let the whinging begin !!

  • Sal76 on July 22, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    Hats off to Smith, congratulations on your 100th Test and your 25th 100. Remarkable feat indeed. Not many, and may I point out, not even Sachin has achieved a 100 in his 100th Test. So, though I am a Sachin fan as well, this is Smith's day and I wish him all the best for the birth of his child and the rest of this England tour. Maybe, just maybe the Proteas can avenge India's defeats. Haha!!!

  • xylo on July 22, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    It is funny how the "#1 team"'s coach and their "key bowler" Stuart Broad call the wicket subcontinental once things aren't going their way. If so, how did Morkel, Steyn and co bowl out their batsmen. And, if it were subcontinental, how could their "#1 spinner" Swann not eke out a single wicket over 2+ days? It is a shame to cricket that even the #1 team is looking for excuses. This wasn't the case during the glorious days of the Aussie team. It looks like Kirsten has brought the missing zing to the South African team, and here they are on their ascendancy.

  • 777aditya on July 22, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    what's the big fuss about Biff's ton?! I see 5 proud Englishmen who have scored centuries in the same match - oh wait, sorry, 4 of them are bowlers! (my bad)!!

  • ejsiddiqui on July 22, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    Soth Africa has never lost a match when Smith made a hundred or more. Same is not true for Sachin or other batsmen. This shows his performance at crucial times.

  • siddhartha87 on July 22, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    Kallis will be remebered even 50 years from now...most consistent test batsman of the era...he plays half of his test in south africa so his average is 57...if he belonged to subcontinent that it would had been atleast 65.

  • BobR on July 22, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    @ 'indiarox4ever' that isn't why Sachin keeps featuring in every discussion. What has Sachin's career got to do with this article? It's patriotic Indians like you that have got nothing else to boast about other than Sachin. Indeed he is a great player and has played some great innings, but come on, chat about some new talent. When it was time to score runs against England/Australia all the so-called great Indian batsmen couldn't compete and they got routed 4-0 in successive series'. On the other hand, Graeme Smith, made captain after only playing 9 tests, has led S.A. on 91 occasions during which he has been a prolific run maker and has been a great leader. He's scored runs all over the world and has been a very successful captain.

  • krnataraj on July 22, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    world's number one team, world's best test bowling attack. now their real worth is being exposed. england bowling coach already looking for excuses like"pitch looks sub-continental." maybe they should prepare more pitches like this to practice before coming to the sub-continent later this year.

  • indiarox4ever on July 22, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    "on day five, if we are bowling for the win, he will have to play a prominent role."

    This is hilarious. How about "batting for survival"?

  • Percy_Fender on July 22, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Graeme Smith is one of the best we have seen from South Africa without a doubt. He may not have been like Graeme Pollock but is the solid rock on which South Africa can go on to the top spot in the rankings.He may not look as graceful as David Gower but young opening batsmen can take a leaf out of his book in the art of leaving the ball. Even if it looks exaggerated it is the best way to go instead of what we see in most batsmen. The way he Amla and Kallis got behind the line of the ball was truly educative too. In defence, the bat was invariably in front of the pad. It seemed like what Brian Lara said in Sri lanka some years ago as the reason he was playing so well then.Brian said that he was getting in line with the bowler's arm as he delivered the ball. These are the points that young batsmen could follow. I find that one could learn most by watching great players. And you are great Graeme. My congratulations for you on getting a hundered on your hundredth.

  • on July 22, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    let me take your mind of a little bit from the game of criket and the heroics of smith. Lets wish good luck to his wife who would be giving birth in few days time and hope smith gets a glimpse of new new born before the 2nd test. And yes Sachin is the best batsman in the Whole World only God can bat better than Sachin..

  • Hammond on July 22, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    @indiarox4ever- I don't know- I think Kallis is a better batsman than Sachin, and who may at the end of his career have a superior record too. Sachin is the "best ever Indian batsman" but there are other players not from India (and excluding Sir Donald of course- clearly the best ever) that have been better batsman than Tendulkar.

  • SuperSharky on July 22, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    A Great innings from a great batsmen. Well batted Smith. But I will remember Smith 100th game with a great innings from Smith, but an even greater innings by Amla. Amla amazes me more and more. Not only his qualities to maybe take over from Smith one day, but also his concentration. He concentrate like a Gary Kirsten times two. Well done Proteas.

  • indiarox4ever on July 22, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    Fifty years from now we will know how many of the current players be remembered in the same breath as Sachin. There will be many greats but he will be remembered as someone who can be placed next to the legendary Don Bradman, as the next best batsman. That is why he keeps featuring in every discussion.

  • on July 22, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Hell of a player if a lot of Current West Indies players had their talent with his attitude they would be unbeatable. A very good player and a great leader congrats Smith.

  • on July 22, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    @lesley95 - Jealousy seems to be the only reason for posting a foolish comment. Many smiths came & retired also. Sachin is still playing. Poor Smith hasnt even come to 50 International 100s & he himself praises Sachin more. Come on get a life.

  • Shrekk on July 22, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    just popping in to say this WAS a hundred times better than sachin's hundred..Swann is anything but overrated and the pitch was flat and dusty which is why Swann was more dangerous...we shouldn't be having to mention sachin at somebody else's occasion anyway..don't know when we'll get rid of all the sachin talk and why cricinfo keeps publishing it.

  • fareed746 on July 22, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    i like hashim amla double ton

  • fareed746 on July 22, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    i like amla very much i wish amla could do his double ton!

  • venbas on July 22, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    The Englishmen must have got complacent after facing the grand old uncles and young dodos in the Indian cricket team. This is their realty check. I hope they crash to a heavy defeat that puts in perspective their Np.1 status.

  • indiarox4ever on July 22, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    Strange are the ways of people. A few months ago Smith was not worth his place in SA side but suddenly he is the greatest batsman around and his battle with an overrated spinner like Swann on a flat pitch is touted as "100" times better than sachin's effort. Hats off to you guys. Keep those gems coming.

  • on July 22, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    For courage, grit, determination, mental strength and all-round fight then Graeme Smith is your batsman. As Rahul Dravid said recently, these are not just 'attributes' but 'talents' as well.

  • srinathphysio on July 22, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    south africa's best captain played a best innigins of his life.

  • stalefresh on July 22, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    He is one of the greats..

  • lesley95 on July 22, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    Hundred times better than Sachin's 100th Hundred

  • marlon17 on July 22, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Well played Smith... One of the best opening left hand batsman in the world..

  • on July 22, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    Great knock, especially the fight against Swann. Terrific....

  • LourensGrobbelaar on July 22, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    @kh1902 Jealousy makes one nasty. Kallis has made most of his runs in SA where, if you read a lot, you will see that batting averages are low. Yet Kallis is a rock. He is also historically one of the best players of spin since the 2000's, hence his success in India. He struggles only with swing delivered at high pace, like Flintoff did in 2008. How did the English Batsmen fare again on flattracks in India? Not well at all. All Batsmen will have flattracks to play on and difficult tracks. The good ones cash in on BOTH.

  • LourensGrobbelaar on July 22, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    @RandyOz If Smith is so bad under pressure why is he the batsmen and captain with the most 4th innings runs and centuries TO WIN A GAME! Because he has the balls when the chips are down.

  • on July 22, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    Not all English pitches will be like this. Smith has also lost 3 tests in England, 2 in 2003 and 1 in 2008, so it means not all pitches will be like this. Smith has to decide whether to bat on or declare. It all comes down to his strategy. You don't want to delcare then let England bat to safety. 3 times Eng hung on to draw a test when 9 wickets down, once at Cardiff 2009 and twice in South Africa. So he has to bear in mind what's the right strategy. Don't expect the pitches to be the same like this for the other two tests. You ultimate goal is to win against Australia.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on July 22, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    one of the legends , graeme smith is

  • indianpunter on July 22, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    Well done, Graeme. I watched you score that magnificient hundred in Perth when you were chasing 415 ( an did) against Australia in 2008-9. SAf is showing India ( and their millionaire batsmen), how it is done. I'd much rather watch this series than the utter humiliation meted out to India last year, where there was not even a semblance of a fight. btw, i am indian.

  • landl47 on July 22, 2012, 3:41 GMT

    Smith makes Alastair Cook look graceful, but he is highly effective. For almost ten years now England have have been trying to get the better of him, but he's still out there making those big scores. One of the most determined cricketers any team has had. All credit to him for scoring a hundred when his team needed it- and in his hundredth test, too. A great effort.

  • Deepakrio278 on July 22, 2012, 3:29 GMT

    No words buddy..Well played..A mature and calm innings...Could not have asked for more..Congrats on both ur 100 and ur child..

  • on July 22, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    One of the best openers, and left-handers, and leaders the game has seen. All the best for the big day.

  • Romenevans on July 22, 2012, 2:43 GMT

    Hashim Amla should be named as "The Run Machine" wow what a player!

  • kh1902 on July 22, 2012, 2:27 GMT

    Smith and Amla played very well as expected and laid the foundation for flat track Kallis to bask in reflected glory, as he usually does. At least Kallis can now boost his career average in England by being not out at the end of the innings.

  • Alexk400 on July 22, 2012, 2:03 GMT

    Well played. When SA needed some score he took responsibility. India always pass responsibility down the order until no one left. When pressure applied smith stands up tall.

  • Nadeem1976 on July 22, 2012, 2:00 GMT

    Congratulations to Smith for scoring 100 on his 100th test match. This is great performance. I hope Smith gets the result out of this test match because run rate is slow and only two days are remaining.

  • RandyOZ on July 22, 2012, 1:55 GMT

    Smith took advantage of a highly overrated English attack, not the least of which being Broad. A bit of pressure and he goes to water.

  • on July 22, 2012, 1:48 GMT

    Lets Just all remember this GREAT ACHIEVEMENT in a few weeks when some doom profits will be out there calling for his Head - We just dont seem to appreciate how Great Smith and Kallis is ...............

  • Hammond on July 22, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    Ugliest batsman I have ever seen. And equally one of the most effective. Have absolutely no idea where I would bowl to a left hander with a grip like his and shot production as unorthodox as that. Don Bradman had an equally strong bottom handed grip and he was pretty effective too!

  • Tjoeps on July 21, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    Well played Graeme! All the best to you and Morgan with the birth of the little one... If I need to chose 2 batsmen to bat for my life, it would be Hashim & Jacques, with ABdeV to follow.... I expect England to come out guns blazing but we can do this... What a spectacle! What a game!

  • thruthecovers on July 21, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    Congratulations Graeme. You deserve every accolade to come your way. Time and again you show how great a leader you are. Nothing but respect and awe. And as a father myself, I just like to say...welcome to the club. I hope all goes well with the delivery and both mother and baby comes through healthy and rosy cheeked. Your life will never be the same! :) Congrats bro

  • plow on July 21, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    Congrats Grame smith on your hundred and your impending first child... As a kiwi I enjoyed the banter and battles with Fleming and co. These days I have nothing but respect for you as a player and person. All the best, your a great player.

  • Cpt.Meanster on July 21, 2012, 23:04 GMT

    Well played Biff !!! he has been one of my favourite players for some time now. A 'no-nonsense' kind of guy. A sincere and dedicated cricketer and a true fighter. A world class innings from him given the emotions surrounding the team following Boucher's injury. And Amla, the bearded wonder !! great show by SA. England's bowlers looked ordinary. In fact they all looked like medium pacers who had no clue whatsoever. Steyn, Morkel and Philander are a class apart. To restrict England to under 400 was a remarkable achievement. Yes, the pitch is flat but England batted on the same pitch. This is headed for a draw but well played again SA. It's a shame this series is only a 3 game encounter.

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  • Cpt.Meanster on July 21, 2012, 23:04 GMT

    Well played Biff !!! he has been one of my favourite players for some time now. A 'no-nonsense' kind of guy. A sincere and dedicated cricketer and a true fighter. A world class innings from him given the emotions surrounding the team following Boucher's injury. And Amla, the bearded wonder !! great show by SA. England's bowlers looked ordinary. In fact they all looked like medium pacers who had no clue whatsoever. Steyn, Morkel and Philander are a class apart. To restrict England to under 400 was a remarkable achievement. Yes, the pitch is flat but England batted on the same pitch. This is headed for a draw but well played again SA. It's a shame this series is only a 3 game encounter.

  • plow on July 21, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    Congrats Grame smith on your hundred and your impending first child... As a kiwi I enjoyed the banter and battles with Fleming and co. These days I have nothing but respect for you as a player and person. All the best, your a great player.

  • thruthecovers on July 21, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    Congratulations Graeme. You deserve every accolade to come your way. Time and again you show how great a leader you are. Nothing but respect and awe. And as a father myself, I just like to say...welcome to the club. I hope all goes well with the delivery and both mother and baby comes through healthy and rosy cheeked. Your life will never be the same! :) Congrats bro

  • Tjoeps on July 21, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    Well played Graeme! All the best to you and Morgan with the birth of the little one... If I need to chose 2 batsmen to bat for my life, it would be Hashim & Jacques, with ABdeV to follow.... I expect England to come out guns blazing but we can do this... What a spectacle! What a game!

  • Hammond on July 22, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    Ugliest batsman I have ever seen. And equally one of the most effective. Have absolutely no idea where I would bowl to a left hander with a grip like his and shot production as unorthodox as that. Don Bradman had an equally strong bottom handed grip and he was pretty effective too!

  • on July 22, 2012, 1:48 GMT

    Lets Just all remember this GREAT ACHIEVEMENT in a few weeks when some doom profits will be out there calling for his Head - We just dont seem to appreciate how Great Smith and Kallis is ...............

  • RandyOZ on July 22, 2012, 1:55 GMT

    Smith took advantage of a highly overrated English attack, not the least of which being Broad. A bit of pressure and he goes to water.

  • Nadeem1976 on July 22, 2012, 2:00 GMT

    Congratulations to Smith for scoring 100 on his 100th test match. This is great performance. I hope Smith gets the result out of this test match because run rate is slow and only two days are remaining.

  • Alexk400 on July 22, 2012, 2:03 GMT

    Well played. When SA needed some score he took responsibility. India always pass responsibility down the order until no one left. When pressure applied smith stands up tall.

  • kh1902 on July 22, 2012, 2:27 GMT

    Smith and Amla played very well as expected and laid the foundation for flat track Kallis to bask in reflected glory, as he usually does. At least Kallis can now boost his career average in England by being not out at the end of the innings.