With two T20 World Cups on the horizon, the bitter disappointment of a red-ball disaster against India must quickly turn to the busy calendar Australia will face in the coming months.
He’s had to wait three days, but Steve Smith should finally get a chance to set a new Test benchmark when the Australian star bats at the Gabba on Saturday.
He’s had to be patient this week, but Steve Smith might finally get his chance on Saturday to make another historic mark on Australian cricket.
The master batsman needs just 27 runs against Pakistan in Brisbane to pass 7000 in the Test arena, something he will achieve quicker than any other batsman even if it takes him six more innings.
Eclipsing Englishman Walter Hammond’s 131-innings mark, which has stood since 1946, would be some way to return to Test cricket on home soil following the ball-tampering suspension that kept him on ice last summer.
Smith returned to the Test fray in devastating fashion with 774 runs at 110.57 as Australia retained the Ashes in England and now averages 64.56.
Admitting that series exhausted him, the 30-year-old has rested for long enough but may have to wait a little longer for his moment to arrive at the Gabba.
Unbeaten on 151, David Warner showed no signs of giving his wicket away on Friday afternoon, while Marnus Labuschagne (55 not out) is hunting a maiden Test century.
Australia will begin day three at 1-312, 72 runs ahead of Pakistan’s first-innings total and seeking to inflict further pain on an attack that features two teenage quicks.
Joe Burns (97) was the only wicket to fall on Friday. The Queenslander was shattered when he dragged a sweep shot onto his stumps to end a dominant innings just short of a fifth Test century.
Naseem Shah, at 16 the youngest player to make a Test debut in Australia, left the field prematurely on Friday after bowling 16 brisk but wicketless overs in five separate spells.
Team management insisted there were no injury concerns.