Dettol ODI Series v India
'I was no good': Why Smith nearly missed second ODI
Only hours before sending India dizzy with his second ton in as many games, Steve Smith had been ill with vertigo and thought he might not play
Sam Ferris in Sydney
30 November 2020, 10:00 AM AEST
Steve Smith's remarkable century on Sunday almost never happened after revealing he woke up with vertigo that had him doubting whether he would be fit to play.
For the second time in three days, Smith amazed the SCG crowd with a 62-ball century that helped Australia to a big win and seal the Dettol ODI Series against India with a game to spare.
But after waking up with vertigo and being sick as the world spun around him, Smith says he thought he would struggle to take his place in the team.
After consultation with Dettol Support Staff doctor Leigh Golding, who administered a series of head twists known as the Epley Manoeuvre to remove 'ear rocks' that form in the inner ear and cause vertigo, Smith travelled to the ground early to see whether he had recovered enough to play.
Fortunately for Australia he was good to go, scoring one of his finest ODI centuries and taking an athletic catch in the field.
But he says it "didn't look great there for a while".
"I didn't know I was playing today," Smith told cricket.com.au after back-to-back player of the match performances.
"I had a really bad dose of vertigo this morning and I was struggling until … I came down early to have a hit and a bit of a run around.
"The doctor, I think he performed six Epley manoeuvres on me this morning and got the crystals out of my ears and I was struggling for a bit.
"Just pleased to be able to get out here and play another good innings and help the team."
You wouldn't have known anything was remotely wrong with Smith by the way he dismantled India's bowling attack.
Smith rated Sunday's century even better than Friday's based on the fact he didn't offer any chances (he was dropped on 38 in the series opener), but was able to play with freedom after David Warner and Aaron Finch combined for a 142-run opening partnership.
🤔🤔— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 29, 2020
Smith put on 138 with Marnus Labuschagne before Glenn Maxwell went berserk with 63 not out from 29 balls as the hosts racked up 4-389 from their 50 overs.
Australia's batting order has flexed its muscles twice this series but could be without Warner who suffered a groin injury and were close to being without Smith on Sunday.
"(Yesterday) morning I was no good, I thought I was going to struggle," he said.
"The fact that I could come out and play was really pleasing in the end. It didn't look great there for a while.
"It was just nice to bat again on this wicket. I love playing here at the SCG.
"It's a nice paced wicket for me. It suits my game and I thought Davey and Finchy were magnificent up top and enabled myself and Maxi to let loose."
Maxwell enjoyed the Smith show from the dressing room and said after play it's looking "scary" for other teams now that the No.3 has found his hands again.
"He's placing the ball as well as anyone around the world, and when he puts the foot down he goes, and he goes hard," Maxwell said.
"He hits the ball into gaps, it’s like he's hitting the ball straight over fielders' heads, he's picking his spots, he's calculated and he just looks like he's got so much time.
"A lot of the time you judge it by the way he starts his innings, and he's started by hitting the middle of the bat consistently.
"He walks across his stumps to just outside off and works it behind square, and he's just got so much time and looks really calm at the crease at the moment."
Dettol ODI Series v India 2020
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey , Pat Cummins (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.
First ODI: Australia won by 66 runs
Second ODI: November 29, SCG, 2.40pm AEDT
Third ODI: December 2, Manuka Oval, 2.40pm AEDT
*The matches and travel remain subject to any relevant government restrictions or requirements