James Anderson will miss the second Ashes Test against Australia due to a calf injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed.

It is the end of an era for Dale Steyn in the Test arena but there have been no shortage of magic moments from the South Africa great.

The paceman has opted to call it a day in the five-day format in order to prolong his career and retires as the Proteas' all-time leading Test wicket taker on 439.

While the past few years of his career have been injury hit, in his pomp Steyn was among the most dangerous quicks in the world.

Below we have taken a look back at some of his very best Test performances for South Africa.


Versus Australia: Melbourne, December 2008

South Africa headed to Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test already 1-0 up in the best-of-three contest. The Proteas secured a nine-wicket hammering to clinch the series with Steyn at the fore. He claimed a five-for in both innings and contributed 76 with the bat to help South Africa to a 65-run first-innings lead that set the foundations for victory.


Versus India: Nagpur, February 2010

Steyn was at his devastating best during South Africa's opening contest of a three-match series in Nagpur. After Hashim Amla's 253 and 173 from Jacques Kallis steered the Proteas to 558-6 declared, Steyn ripped through India's star-studded order to return Test-best figures of 7-51. India, who made just 233 in the first innings, were put back into bat and Steyn celebrated three more wickets to finish with match figures of 10-108. The series was drawn at 1-1.


Versus Pakistan: Johannesburg, February 2013

South Africa absolutely hammered Pakistan 3-0 during a three-match series six-and-a-half-years ago. Steyn was influential in wrapping up the opening Test by 211 runs. A remarkable return of 6-8 in the first innings was the catalyst for Pakistan's embarrassing total of 49. There was little let up in Pakistan's second knock as Steyn made 5-52 in a stunning Test performance.


Versus New Zealand: Centurion, April 2006

South Africa were up against it in the opening Test against New Zealand in Centurion when their first-innings total of 276 was answered with 327 from the Black Caps, Steyn contributing a modest 2-95. A total of 299 for the hosts' second knock set New Zealand 249 to win and Steyn showed his ever-blossoming status as a feared seamer, as he and Makhaya Ntini each claimed a five-for to bowl the visitors out for 120. It was a crucial turning point as the home side went on to take a 2-0 triumph.


Versus West Indies: Centurion, April 2014

After South Africa posted a mammoth 552-5 declared, West Indies were under the cosh and made just 201 in reply with a frustrated Steyn finishing wicketless. But did you really think he would completely miss out on the fun? Steyn took 6-34 in a devastating spell in the Windies' second innings following on as the visitors succumbed to an innings and 220 run defeat in the first Test of a series they would lose 2-0.

The Test career of one of South Africa's greatest ever players is over after Dale Steyn decided to give up red-ball cricket on Monday.

Over the past 15 years, paceman Steyn has been one of the most feared bowlers in the longest format of the game.

Steyn retires after 93 Tests and as his country's all-time leading Test wicket-taker.

Injuries have plagued Steyn over the past few years but he remains one of the all-time great seamers and we have analysed his best numbers with the help of Opta.

439 – Steyn accumulated 439 Test wickets from his 93 matches, placing him at the top of the Proteas' all-time list. Shaun Pollock is next on the list with 421.

5th – The 36-year-old's return is the fifth most in Test cricket among seamers. It is also the eighth best overall.

7-51 – Steyn recorded his best-ever Test-match figures of 7-51 against India in 2010. It is the second best by a South African in the longest format.

26 – Many a side have crumbled against Steyn. On 26 occasions he has finished a Test match with a five-for.

22.95 – Steyn's average of 22.95 is better than the likes of James Anderson, Courtney Walsh and Wasim Akram.

0 – His last Test was against Sri Lanka in Port Elizabeth in February this year. Steyn failed to take a wicket across both innings, bowling 18 overs. 

Tim Paine backed Nathan Lyon to keep bowling "as long as he wants to" after his star showing on day five of Australia's victory over England in the opening Ashes Test.

Steve Smith's second century of the match and three figures from Matthew Wade on Sunday meant England needed to bat out the day on Monday to avoid defeat at Edgbaston.

But the day-five conditions were perfect for a spinner of Lyon's quality and he took 6-49 to help dismiss the hosts for just 146.

In the process, Lyon became just the fourth Australian to rack up 350 Test wickets and captain Paine waxed lyrical about his quality.

"He could get plenty [of wickets] for as long as he wants to go for I reckon, he doesn't seem to have too many injuries or niggles over his career," he said. 

"The ball is coming out better than ever, he's a bit like Smithy [Steve Smith], every Test match or series they seem to get better – it's astonishing at their age. 

"If you see them train you see why, they're a great example to the group."

Steve Smith and David Warner were playing their first Test since their respective involvements in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal that shocked cricket last year.

And Paine welcomed having the experienced duo back in the dressing room.

"Yeah it certainly helps. As I said before the game those guys have played a lot more cricket in England than I have and more big tournaments and big series than I have," he added. 

"The same goes for all of our team, it's not only helping me with way they lead our group. We're all tapping into them whether captain, coach or batting coach.

"They have things they've learnt through experience that others don't know. We'd be foolish not to tap into that, they've still got a huge presence in our dressing room there's no doubt about that."

Joe Root vowed not to make any "shotgun" decisions over team selection for the second Ashes Test after England were humbled by Australia in the Edgbaston opener.

England had Australia 122-8 in the first innings and took a 90-run lead into the second but, thanks largely to back-to-back centuries from Steve Smith, eventually slipped to a 251-run defeat.

Several players therefore find their place in the team at Lord's under threat, with Moeen Ali in particular coming in for criticism after making scores of 0 and 4 with the bat and match figures of 3-172 with the ball.

The decision to play James Anderson has also been scrutinised, with England's record wicket-taker suffering a calf injury on the opening morning having suffered from a similar issue prior to the Test.

Likely replacement Jofra Archer has been struggling with a side strain and will need to prove his fitness in the interim period.

But captain Root insists due diligence will be given in regards team selection.

"We have to go about it [deciding if Archer plays] in a very calculated manner as we did with Jimmy," he said. 

"If someone is fit to play and it's a unanimous decision then you have to put trust in that because it's a recurring – well not a recurring injury – but because it's the same area in general, if you like, it's easy to say or ask questions about the process and decision-making going into it. 

"With Jofra it's a slightly different situation where he'll have played a lot more cricket in between and we'll have a clearer indication of where he's at, turn up at Lord's and make sure there are no shotgun decisions.

"It's very easy to make emotional decisions right now. We're in a lucky position that there's time between the two Test matches. We've got to make sure we're taking all the information very clear about how we want to approach the next game and take a call from there."

On Moeen's place in the team, Root added: "I think with Mo you have to remember how threatening he can be and what an asset to this team he has been in the past. 

"When he's been written off before he comes back stronger, particularly in English conditions. He'll be disappointed with how yesterday went and how the game has gone but he'll dust himself off and come back.

"As I said we've got to make sure we're clear on how we approach the next game and not make too many emotional decisions going into Lord's and sit down as a selection panel and go from there."

Australia's 251-run victory in the first Ashes Test raised many intriguing questions.

Will an injured James Anderson feature again during the series? Should an out-of-form Moeen Ali retain his place? Is there any way to get Steve Smith out - and will the tourists change a winning XI?

It is not just the players who are in the spotlight, however. The umpires' performances are also closely scrutinised - and it was a tough outing for on-field duo Aleem Dar and Joel Wilson in Birmingham.

There were more reviews than at a book club meeting. The two men in the middle had a rocky start to proceedings on the opening day, with the use of technology highlighting seven errors.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has already announced the list of officials who will stand throughout the series, with Dar on duty at Lord's next and Wilson back for the third Test, which takes place at Headingley. For both fixtures, the duo will be working in conjunction with Chris Gaffaney, who was busy in his role as third umpire for the opening game.

Following the game, we look back at the long list of successful reviews at Edgbaston.

 

DAY ONE

1.1 overs: David Warner is given not out by Dar despite getting a thin edge down the leg side from Stuart Broad. In fairness to Dar, wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow was the only England player to appeal with any gusto.

14.2 overs: Umpire Wilson turns down a vociferous appeal after England think they have Usman Khawaja caught behind off Chris Woakes. On this occasion, the hosts' review is successful as UltraEdge picks up the finest of edges from Australia's number three.

33.5 overs: England are joyous as Smith pads up to a Broad delivery and Dar raises the finger. The batsman reviews almost immediately and his decision is justified, with HawkEye showing the ball missing off stump.

34.6 overs: Wilson turns down an lbw appeal from Woakes against Matthew Wade. England review and another on-field decision is overturned.

39.6 overs: Dar decides James Pattinson is lbw to Broad. The batsman opts against a review, perhaps due to the presence of key man Smith at the other end, but replays again show the ball would have missed leg stump.

46.1 overs: Peter Siddle is lbw to Woakes, according to Wilson. A review proves the umpire wrong as a massive inside edge is revealed.

DAY TWO

20.6 overs: Australia thought they had England captain Root caught behind off the bowling of Pattinson for nine. Wilson agreed with their vehement appeal, but replays showed the only piece of wood the ball had clipped was off stump, with somehow the bail remaining in place. 

33.2 overs: Root again, this time on 14. The right-hander was given out lbw by Dar, Siddle the bowler as the ball cut back in. However, it had also taken a sizeable deflection off the bat, giving the skipper a reprieve. He went on to make 57 in England's total of 374.

DAY THREE

2.6 overs: For the second time in the match, England needed the help of DRS to dismiss Warner. The opener was unable to withdraw his bat in time from a Broad delivery from around the wicket, leading to an edge through to wicketkeeper Bairstow. Wilson was not convinced (and neither was Broad initially) but UltraEdge quickly showed up the contact.

DAY FOUR

84.2 overs: Broad felt he had Wade lbw after England had taken the second new ball - and Wilson originally agreed. However, he was forced to reverse his initial call as the ball was shown to be going over the top.

DAY FIVE

12.6 overs: Wilson must have been a little worried when Root immediately reviewed an lbw call, despite there clearly being no bat involved. Indeed, the footage revealed why - the delivery from Pattinson was missing leg stump...and by some distance, too.

16.4 overs: The same umpire-batsman combination were involved again in the morning session, this time Wilson's finger going up when Root was struck on the pad by Siddle. The batsman had a smile on his face as he quickly made a 'T' signal with his arms, knowing very well that an initial edge would save him.

Australia captain Tim Paine hailed Steve Smith as "probably the best Test batsman we've ever seen" after the tourists completed a 251-run hammering of England in the Ashes opener.

Paine's side stole a march in the five-match series thanks largely to the heroics of former captain Smith, who made centuries in both innings on his first Test back since a ban for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked cricket.

Smith's efforts in the first innings proved particularly important as he helped Australia recover from a perilous position of 122-8 to 284 all out.

And Paine, who replaced Smith as skipper, is running out of superlatives for Australia's key batsman.

"I thought we were certainly up against it at that stage [122-8] but we had the best player in the world at the crease," Paine said of the man of the match at the presentation. 

"Steve showed his class in both innings. We're running out of things to say about Smithy. He's probably the best Test batsman we've ever seen. We're lucky to witness it."

Smith's second century coupled with a three-figure score from Matthew Wade on Saturday left England chasing the unlikeliest of targets at 398.

Nathan Lyon took centre stage on a deteriorating pitch on Monday as his 6-49 helped dismiss England for just 146.

"Nathan bowled superbly but our three quicks took a lot of pressure off him at the other end as well. The seamers were sensational," Paine added. 

"We thought we could improve on our first-innings performance with the ball. All those guys are world-class performers. This morning all four of them were sensational.

"We know every Test we play in England, the crowd will be against us. I thought the guys handled themselves really well and we've come out on top."

Smith was banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia for his part in the Newlands scandal and he reflected on an emotional week.

"Maybe a while ago I thought that [he wouldn't be playing again] but I'm really grateful to be back here playing for Australia, scoring runs, doing what I love and contributing to wins," Smith said. 

"It's been a pretty special comeback. I'm over the moon to be standing here.

"It's been a long 18 months for me and my family and friends and they helped me through it back home. I'm really thankful for that. I don't know if it's really sunk in yet.

"It's been a hell of a six weeks. I've really enjoyed playing here in the World Cup then this Ashes series is the ultimate challenge for an Australian and English cricketer."

Joe Root refused to blame a Cricket World Cup hangover for England's disappointing defeat in the first Ashes Test against Australia.

The opening day at Edgbaston came just 18 days after an amazing Lord's final against New Zealand, as England became world champions following a dramatic Super Over.

Six members of that ODI side featured in Birmingham, although their stand-out performers against Australia, Stuart Broad – who took 5-86 in the first innings – and centurion Rory Burns, were not among them.

Root, however, instead blamed an inability to capitalise on an early position of strength, having reduced Australia to 122-8 in their first innings, for England's 251-run defeat.

"No, I think that [World Cup fatigue] is a bit of an excuse if I'm being honest," he said at the post-match presentation. 

"As I said we played some good stuff throughout the game, we just didn't do it for long enough and we didn't take our chance right at the start of the game when we had them in that position."

The returning Steve Smith proved the difference by becoming just the third Australian to make centuries in each innings of an away Ashes Test.

England were also hindered by a calf injury sustained by James Anderson, which Root felt had an influence on the outcome of the Test.

"Yeah it was two brilliant innings [from Steve Smith], we have to keep working hard on getting him out," Root added.

"It was hard losing Jimmy early on, it becomes a balancing act, these things happen in cricket."

Anderson's selection was a dilemma for England before the Test with the seamer having sustained a similar injury last month, but Root defended the decision to select their all-time leading wicket taker.

"It was a group decision in terms of selection, he passed a fitness test [and] it's just one of those freak things that can happen in cricket," Root said.

South Africa great Dale Steyn has announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect.

The 36-year-old played 93 Tests for the Proteas, taking 439 wickets at an average of 22.95 to become his country's most potent bowler of all-time in cricket's longest format.

Steyn said he has taken the decision to prolong his career, with the paceman contracted to play white-ball cricket for South Africa for the 2019-2020 season.

"Today I walk away from a format of the game I love so much. In my opinion Test cricket is the best version of this game," he said via a Cricket South Africa news release.

"It tests you mentally, physically, emotionally. It's terrible to consider never playing another Test again but what's more terrifying is the thought of never playing again at all.

"So, I will be focusing on ODIs and T20s for the rest of my career to maximise my full potential and ensure my longevity in this sport.

"I'd like to thank everyone in cricket, no one specific, because everyone has been a part of my journey. And I look forward to continuing to play for the Proteas in the shorter formats."

Steyn etched his name into the record books by becoming South Africa's leading Test-wicket taker in December 2018 when he dismissed Fakhar Zaman to beat Shaun Pollock's previous best of 421.

He has 696 wickets across all formats for South Africa and took a career-best 7-51 against India in February 2010.

The retirement of Steyn places further strain on the Proteas' fast-bowling stocks, with the likes of Duanne Olivier, Kyle Abbott and Morne Morkel having turned their back on South Africa to sign Kolpak deals in the County Championship.Cricket.

South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe paid tribute to Steyn.

"Dale is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats of cricket. From the time he made his Test debut against England in 2004 and dismissed their captain, Michael Vaughan, with a superb delivery, he has been one of the standout fast bowlers in world cricket," he said."

He has led the South African attack brilliantly and set the standard for our future generations to follow.

"More than that he has been a wonderful mentor to our next generation of speedsters.

"We were saddened to hear of his decision, but it is one that management has to accept, and we thank him for his significant contribution to the sport and to the nation and wish him everything of the very best for the future."

 

Australia completed a resounding 251-run victory on day five to seal the opening Ashes Test as Nathan Lyon tormented sorry England with a sublime six-for at Edgbaston.

The heroics of centurions Steve Smith and Matthew Wade a day previous set England a near-impossible 398 target and their only realistic chance of avoiding defeat was to bat out the day for a draw.

But predictions that a wearing day-five pitch would be suited to the spinning skills of Lyon bore fruit and he finished with 6-49, becoming the fourth Australian to rack up 350 Test wickets in the process.

Pat Cummins added 4-32 and now has 100 Test wickets as England played like the proverbial deer in the headlights to fall behind in the five-match series.

The inquest will now begin for England, who had Australia at 122-8 in the first innings before the first of Smith's centuries brought the tourists back into the match.

Even still, England held a 90-run lead heading into the second innings but their inability to remove Smith proved costly in an enthralling contest and the Australians now have the psychological edge with their star batsman in phenomenal form.

Tim Paine's side head to Lord's with a 1-0 lead having ended an 18-year wait for an Edgbaston win in any format, while it marks just England's second defeat in 15 Test matches at the venue.

England would have been relatively content with the opening hour despite the loss of first-innings centurion Rory Burns (11) when a short one from Cummins was gloved to Lyon at gully.

Jason Roy (28) and Joe Root made 41 for the second wicket, only for the former to make a complete hash of attacking a Lyon delivery that turned through the gap.

Lyon quickly added Joe Denly (11), who wastefully reviewed when there was clearly a nick on a looped one to Cameron Bancroft at short leg, and the same combination snared the crucial wicket of Root – who England really needed to bat most of the day – with the fielder snaffling a sharp take.

It left England 85-4 by lunch and the situation did not improve in the afternoon session, Cummins ripping up Jos Buttler's off stump before Jonny Bairstow gloved the same man to the slips.

When Ben Stokes edged Lyon behind to gleeful Australia captain Paine the writing was on the wall.

Chris Woakes tried to delay the inevitable with an enterprising 37, but the out-of-sorts Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad had no answer to Lyon and Cummins accounted for Woakes with a short delivery to bring an end to proceedings.


LYON ROARS INTO ELITE AUSSIE CLUB

Lyon joined an elite club when it comes to Test scalps for Australia - only Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Dennis Lillee have also made it to 350.

All the focus pre-match was on the tourists' pace attack and which options they may use to try and cut down England. While the trio selected played their part throughout the Test, it was instead the one frontline spin bowler who was left to take centre stage on a worn surface.


STICK OR TWIST? NEITHER HELP OUT ENGLAND

The home side must be wondering where it all went wrong, having reduced Australia to 122-8 on the opening day. Coming to the ground on Monday, they always faced a tough order to survive and keep the series level heading to Lord's.

Their top-order batsmen attempted different methods to cope with Lyon, though none worked for a sustained period. Roy's adventurous march down the pitch will draw criticism, but even the reliable Root succumbed when choosing the more defensive approach. With issues over the form and fitness of key players, England's selectors have plenty to ponder in the break between games.


MOMENT OF THE DAY

The longevity of Root's innings was always likely to be crucial to England's chances of survival. But the skipper was sent on his way after a fine pouch by Bancroft shortly before lunch. Had Root managed to hold on England may have still maintained some hope of a draw, but Australia's celebrations told a story in itself.


KEY OPTA FACTS:

- Lyon has become only the seventh spinner ever to record 350 Test wickets.
- Cummins has now taken 100 Test wickets (21 matches); no Australian bowler has got there faster since 1937 (Bill O'Reilly - 20).
- No bowler has dismissed Root more often in Tests than Lyon (five).
- Denly has scored more than 23 just once in eight Test innings for England.
- Buttler has failed to score more than five runs in four of his eight Test innings in 2019.

Nathan Lyon struck three times as Australia boosted their chances of victory in the first Ashes Test by reducing England to 85-4 by lunch on day five.

The hosts resumed at Edgbaston on 13-0 chasing an unlikely 398 in the fourth innings, with a more realistic aim being to bat out the day to salvage a draw.

However, their survival hopes were hurt when they lost first-innings centurion Rory Burns for 11, the opener getting into a terrible tangle when trying to deal with a short delivery from Pat Cummins, leading to the ball taking the glove and looping kindly to Lyon at gully.

Captain Joe Root joined Jason Roy (28) and the pair added 41 for the second wicket before the latter perished trying to take the positive approach to Lyon, the ball turning through the gap between bat and pad to hit middle stump after he had given the off-spinner the charge.

Lyon then combined with Cameron Bancroft to dismiss Joe Denly (11) and Root before the interval, both right-handers pouched at short leg following inside edges.

Root had twice used the review system to overturn lbw decisions given by umpire Joel Wilson, though there was no doubt over his dismissal as Bancroft snared a sharp chance straight off the bat to send England's skipper on his way for 28.

Jos Buttler ended the session unbeaten on one with Ben Stokes still yet to get off the mark, the pair facing a monumental task as England aim to avoid falling 1-0 behind in the five-match series.

Steve Smith is "like a computer" when he is batting, Steve Waugh said after the Australia star scored another Ashes century.

Smith made his second century of the first Test against England at Edgbaston, putting the tourists in a winning position on day four on Sunday.

The right-hander, playing his first Test since his ball-tampering ban, made 142 in the second innings, having rescued his team with 144 in the first.

Smith became the first Australian to score two centuries in the same Test in England since Waugh in 1997.

Waugh, a mentor with the Australia team in England, lauded Smith's approach and said the 30-year-old seemed to have answers for whatever opposition sides threw at him.

"His preparation is amazing. He's thorough, he hits more balls than I've ever seen anyone [hit]," former Australia captain Waugh told Channel Nine on Sunday.

"When he goes out to bat it's almost like he's in a trance-like state. He knows exactly what he wants to do.

"He knows the opposition, what they're trying to do, how they're trying to get him out and he seems to have an answer for everything.

"He's an incredible player. I don't think I've ever seen anyone quite like him and his appetite for runs is second to none. His technique is amazing, it's unique, but he knows what he's doing, he knows how to score runs.

"It's like he analyses every ball, and it's like a computer – he spits out the answer."

England will resume day five at 13-0, needing another 385 runs for victory in a Test they are more likely set to look to save.

Steve Smith insists regaining the Australia captaincy is "not on my radar" after he completed centuries in both innings of the opening Ashes Test against England.

Cricket Australia stripped Smith of the captaincy and banned the batsman for 12 months for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked cricket.

But Smith has not missed a step during his first Test back, rescuing Australia's first innings with a sublime 144 that steered the visitors to 284 from 122-8.

He was at it again at Edgbaston on Sunday, racking up 142 as Australia posted 487-7 declared to put the tourists in position for a victory that had seemed so unlikely a couple of days ago, with England needing to bat out the final day having been set 398 to win.

However, Smith has no designs on taking back the captaincy from Tim Paine and insists his immediate goal is just to help the team through his performances with the bat.

"It's certainly not on my radar at the moment [regaining the captaincy]," he told a news conference.

"It's just about going out there and doing my job as a batsman and scoring runs. 

"Of course I'm experienced now and able to help Tim [Paine] in any way that I can and he knows I'm there to help him and give him some suggestions and things like that as much as I can.

"If I see something I'll always go to him and try and help for the betterment of the team."

Nathan Lyon will be under pressure to deliver when Australia try to seal victory on day five of the first Ashes Test, says England batting coach Graham Thorpe.

Centuries from Steve Smith and Matthew Wade wrested the initiative away from England on a sensational Sunday for Australia, who declared on 487-7 to set the hosts 398 for victory at Edgbaston.

It means England, who closed at 13-0 in reply, have to bat out the whole day on Monday to rescue a draw on a pitch that should be well suited to Australia spinner Lyon.

Thorpe recognised that, but says Lyon has a tough task ahead of him as well.

"The pitch is taking a turn. Nathan Lyon will be important - they will want him to bowl well," Thorpe told Test Match Special. 

"He's under pressure as well - he's probably got 200 deliveries through the day."

A few eyebrows were raised by England's decision not to utilise Chris Woakes at all in a morning session of frustration for Joe Root's men, but Thorpe defended the home side's tactics given the absence of seamer James Anderson due to a calf injury.

"He's [Woakes] fine. It may have been that we were looking at spin options to start with and Stokes and Broad as well," he added. "Being a bowler down, [we were] just juggling the workloads."

Moeen Ali [2-130] had a day to forget and there was only a muted celebration when he bowled a peach through the gate to remove Tim Paine.

With Moeen also struggling with the bat, his place in the line-up is under threat, but Thorpe vowed the coaching team will rally round him.

"Moeen had one of his tougher days, [but] you've got to support all your guys in the dressing room. We know we leaked more than we wanted to," Thorpe added to Sky Sports.

"You have to help him, that's the thing for us in the dressing room, to support him where we can [to] help him improve going forward."

Steve Smith admits he did not know if he "still had it" after making a sensational return to Test cricket with Australia in the Ashes.

The former captain made a sublime century in Australia's second innings on day four, his second hundred of the match, scoring 142 as Australia declared on 487-7 to set England a daunting target of 398.

It has been a remarkable comeback to the Test arena for Smith after he was banned for his part in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked cricket.

An elbow injury earlier this year also played on the mind of Smith, who reflected on an emotional few days at Edgbaston. 

"It's been incredibly special, obviously I've been out of the game for a while. I was a little bit nervous coming into the first day and I don't normally get nervous coming into games," he told Sky Sports.

"It was nice to get that first hundred, I've never scored hundreds in both innings before, so I was keen to do that.

"It was a very emotional first hundred on day one, I was kind of lost for words and had to take a deep breath, my spine was tingling.

"There was a time I didn't know if I wanted to do it again, just before I had my elbow brace off, I didn't know if I had it in me. 

"I've never felt that way about cricket in my life. It was strange feelings and emotions, now I'm back doing what I'm enjoying, practising hard. Wearing this cap, it's an honour and I'm grateful."

On the feeling of making his first hundred, Smith said: "It did overcome me, I had to take a few deep breaths. 

"It's really special, it's great to be back playing Test cricket, I love Test cricket, I love playing England, it feels like Christmas morning every morning coming here and doing this."

Smith's heroics and a fine century from Matthew Wade, his first in Test cricket since January 2013, completely altered the state of the game with England now needing a huge effort to secure a draw.

The ex-skipper pinpointed spinner Nathan Lyon as the key for Australia on day five.

"I was able to have some good partnerships with Travis Head, who I thought played really well, and Matthew Wade played with such freedom – I'm really proud of him and the way he played," he said.

"There's going to be some spin, Nathan Lyon's obviously going to be important for us.

"There's a bit of variable bounce, [we need] the quicks hitting the stumps and Gazza doing his thing from one end, quicks rotated from the other."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.