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Australia in England 2019

Normal service resumes for 'emotional' Smith

Steve Smith got emotional while reflecting on his dream comeback in his first Test match after a 12-month hiatus in the aftermath of the ignominious Sandpapergate scandal.

Smith's critical 144 runs in the first innings and 142 in the second aided Australia in registering a clinical victory over England by 251 runs at the Edgbaston Stadium in the all-important Ashes series.

It was a major milestone for the former Australian spearhead, who was playing in his first Test after the cricketing world was shaken with the ball-tampering fiasco during Australia's tour of South Africa.

"It feels pretty special, winning the first Test in England is really special. It feels great, I'm loving being back playing cricket for Australia, doing what I love and contributing to wins," Smith said while talking to the media.

"To score two centuries in a match -- the first time I've done that in any form of cricket in my life -- is very special and I'm very proud."

Smith's penchant for scoring big runs has elicited observers to compare him with Australia's greatest batsman Don Bradman. The classy batsman of a long-gone era averaged an astounding 99.94 in 52 Tests with 29 tons.

By becoming just the fifth Australian to score hundreds in both innings of an Ashes Test, Smith has managed a feat that even the distinguished Bradman couldn't achieve.

'I did lose love for cricket a little bit'

Smith has scored 25 hundreds in 65 Tests and while remembering the tough times he said he lost all his passion for cricket because of the ban and an elbow injury.

"I didn't dream about how I would come back. I was just letting time pass and when I got my elbow brace off after surgery something clicked and I was ready to play cricket again. I did lose that love for a little bit but I'm back doing what I love now and it's great," he remarked.

Smith changed the complexion of the match, by giving impetus to Australia's first innings, propelling them to 284 with his perseverance from a deeply vulnerable position at 122-8.

"When I got that first hundred I was just thinking, 'don't burst into tears.' That was as special as my first hundred back in 2013. It was a relief to get it out of the way," he mentioned

"I copped a bit of stick out there (over the ball-tampering incident) but I'm not paying much attention to that and fortunately we've got a good Aussie contingent here. They're creating a good atmosphere for us and we're grateful for it."