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AUS Vs NZ, 3rd Test: Sydney Crowd Gives Steve Smith Surprise Standing Ovation For One Strange Reason - WATCH

Steve Smith, regarded as one of the greatest batsmen, took 39 balls to get off the mark on Day 1 of the third Test between Australia and New Zealand

Steve Smith acknowledges applause. Screengrab: Twitter

Former Australia captain Steve Smith took 39 balls to open his account on Day 1 of the third Test against New Zealand at Sydney Cricket Ground Friday only to get an unexpected standing ovation from the crowd.

Day 1 Report | Cricket News

Regarded as one of the greatest batsmen, Smith batted without scoring for 45 minutes even as his partner Marnus Labuschagne continued to middle his shots.

Smith, 29, finally took a single off the 39th ball, and the crowd cheered the moment as if their favourite batsman was on 100.

Read: Labuschagne Hits First Century In 2020

Watch it here:

He did score a half-century before getting out on 63, caught by Ross Taylor at the cordon off Colin de Grandhomme. Smith added 156 runs for the third with Labuschagne, who was unbeaten on 130 off 210 balls. Australia were 283/3 (90).

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was among three players ruled out of the match as the illness-hit Black Caps made five changes to their XI.

Already missing Trent Boult due to his fractured hand, New Zealand were dealt further blows as Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner all fell victim to a virus that has swept their camp.

Tom Latham captained the tourists in Williamson's absence, while Glenn Phillips was handed a Test debut having only arrived in Sydney as cover the previous evening.

The Black Caps' other changes saw Jeet Raval, Will Somerville, Todd Astle and Matt Henry included, with Tim Southee the fifth player to drop out of the line-up from the last Test.

Australia were unchanged with Nathan Lyon continuing as the sole frontline spinner despite the call-up of the uncapped Mitchell Swepson.

The hosts are seeking a 3-0 series sweep after comfortably winning the first two Tests in Perth and Melbourne.

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