Steve Smith’s move to No.3 has done nothing to his form after putting Australia in control of the second Test against the West Indies.
Smith scored his ninth Test hundred, and fifth in six Tests, as Australia reached 4-258 at stumps on day one in Kingston.
At the close, Smith was not out 135 with Shane Watson unbeaten on 20.
In his second match batting at No.3, Smith rose to the challenge after Windies’ captain Denesh Ramdin sent the tourists in on a challenging Sabina Park strip.
The 26-year-old batted for almost all of the day, coming in after David Warner (0) was dismissed off just the third delivery of the innings.
Smith joined with Michael Clarke (47) and Adam Voges (37) in stands of 118 and 76 respectively as the tourists recovered from being 2-16 to finish the day well on top.
Smith’s latest ton makes him the fifth quickest to nine Test hundreds for Australia, reaching the mark in his 28th match with only Don Bradman (15), Arthur Morris (19), Neil Harvey (23) and Michael Hussey (26) doing it in less time.
The Windies had the brighter start on Thursday, with Jerome Taylor (3-18) bowling five maidens in a row from the Michael Holding End and picking up the wickets of Warner and Shaun Marsh (11).
Kemar Roach (0-65), in the team for the sick Shannon Gabriel, then thought he had Clarke out for three when the Australian captain offered a leading edge which the bowler comfortably caught.
But a replay showed Roach had overstepped and Clarke was given a reprieve.
It was a moment which turned the match, with Clarke and Smith taking the Australians past lunch as Taylor oddly bowled just one more over – the second last before the break.
Jason Holder (1-47) removed Clarke in the middle session but, when Taylor snared his third wicket by luring Voges to edge to wicketkeeper Ramdin, the big Jamaican had still only bowled 12.3 overs.
Ramdin’s bizarre decision to hold back his premier paceman only added to the Windies’ woes, with star batsman Marlon Samuels, Gabriel and legspinner Devendra Bishoo all ruled out before the match started.
Samuels, the most-experienced batsman in the Windies’ line-up, was ruled out with conjunctivitis while Bishoo, who took six wickets in last week’s first Test, was out due to a bruised finger.
The Windies’ mood wouldn’t have improved when Smith was first dropped at slip and then successfully overturned a lbw call on review when he was on 109.
Smith also managed to survive a stumping call off the last ball of the day and will aim to add more runs to his impressive haul on day two.
STEVE SMITH’S AMAZING RUN OF FORM SINCE DECEMBER:
High score: 192 v India, MCG Dec 2014