So far, it’s been a chanceless innings by Maxwell and the highest by an Australia No.6 since Smith’s 100 against South Africa in Centurion in February, 2014, a worrying statistic for the No.2 Test team in the world.
Steve O’Keefe and Smith shared a 51-run stand for the eighth wicket to help Australia cross 400.
That brought wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade to the middle and he along with Steven Smith made a decision to get some quick runs.
KL Rahul’s brisk half-century and Ravindra Jadeja’s 5 for 124 led India’s fightback as Australia posted a formidable total of 451 in the first innings, on Day Two of the third Test at Ranchi.
Smith was 117 not out at stumps on Thursday, when he won arguably the most-important toss of his career then settled easily on a pitch playing few tricks.
With the wicket not giving much assistance to the hosts bowlers, India had to thank Ravindra Jadeja, who picked 5/124.
The incident forced Kohli to walk off the field to seek medical attention with Ajinkya Rahane acting as stand-in captain.
361 Balls faced by Smith – the joint most has he faced in a Test innings.
The first ball of the day however, was a polar opposite when a ball Umesh found Maxwell’s bat just below the logo and broke it in two. Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara played out the remaining seven-plus overs to take India to stumps at 120 for 1, still trailing Australia by 331 runs.
It triggered wild celebrations from Maxwell, whose career was at the crossroads late previous year when he was dumped from Australia’s one-day team and left out of Victoria’s XI for their Sheffield Shield opener. The former, who was unbeaten on 84 overnight, completed his maiden Test century with a slash of Umesh Yadav.
Maxwell’s edge in Jadeja bowling and he departs after a fantastic century.
Steve Smith has been the difference maker for Australia in the current series against India.
178* Steven Smith’s score – the third highest by an Australian batsman in India. The Indian skipper dived in an effort to prevent the ball from crossing the boundary line and ended up hurting himself.
India would have known if they could remove Maxwell with just Matthew Wade and the tail to come, weakened by the absence of Mitchell Starc, they would gain the upper hand.
Maxwell had said, “Batting below the wicketkeeper is also a bit painful”.