Birmingham, Aug 1: Steve Smith marked his return to Test cricket with a superb battling hundred in the first Ashes Test against England at Edgbaston.
Smith ended his exile from the international circuit at the World Cup, where Australia reached the semi-finals.
However, the Ashes opener marked the first Test for Smith and David Warner, and the first international cricket of any kind for Cameron Bancroft, since the trio received bans for the ball-tampering scandal that marred their series with South Africa last year.
Each of the trio received boos from a raucous Edgbaston crowd yet, while Warner and Bancroft each departed cheaply in a largely disappointing Australia innings, Smith produced one of his finest centuries.
The former captain was given out lbw on 34 to Stuart Broad when not playing a shot but successfully reviewed and went on to play the anchor role in stunning fashion as wickets tumbled around him, helping Australia surpass 250.
He formed a fourth-wicket partnership of 64 with Travis Head and then a crucially ninth-wicket stand of 88 with Peter Siddle and received richly deserved his reward for his performance by bringing up three figures with a wonderful cover drive.
Smith's hundred marked his 24th in Test cricket and his fifth in his last seven Ashes matches and, in the circumstances, could be considered the most memorable of his glittering career.