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Australia ride Smith's slipstream to the brink of victory at Edgbaston

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Birmingham: Australia’s remarkable turnaround at Edgbaston owes most to one player, not only in what he achieved on his own account.


Steve Smith’s twin centuries will be placed on the top shelf of overseas double-ups, along with Steve Waugh at Old Trafford in 1997 and Allan Border at Port-of-Spain in 1994. (OK, maybe on a little shelf-mezzanine below Border.)

Smith also created a slipstream effect, lifting his teammates and sweeping them to performances that gave buoyancy to the changing room and will have repercussions for the rest of the series.

Matthew Wade is of course the headliner for scoring his third Test century in such a bright, bold manner. When Wade joined Smith, Australia’s position still hung in the balance, their lead 115 runs with five sessions to play. A collapse would have handed England the control that was slipping away. And Wade was, as a 31-year-old recalled only with the greatest reluctance after three years out of Test cricket, playing for his spot.

When nerves might have been expected,........

© The Age