Steve Smith came off four successive failures in the first two Tests of the summer to smash a brilliant 131 on day two at the SCG, but his manner of celebration took many people aback.
The former Australian captain appeared more angry than relieved after he notched his milestone, swiping his bat to several points of the ground.
Following on from scores of 1,1,0 and 8 in the first two Tests, he had a right to be happy with his confident knock.
But he told ABC Sport before play on Saturday that he was motivated by some of the words written about him in the lead up to the Sydney Test.
“It’s a fickle game isn’t it?” he said.
“You miss out for two games and suddenly out of form.
Asked if he was partly driven by anger as he led Australia to a total of 338 in the first innings, Smith admitted he was.
“So it was kind of like, ‘have a little bit of that’.
“But it was nice to get three figures. I always like to play with a little bit of extra motivation, when I need to prove something or prove people wrong.”
Playing at his beloved home ground was also a factor; before his form slump he had hit two quickfire centuries at the same ground in one-day internationals against the same opposition.
“Yeah, I love playing here at the SCG in front of friends and family, it’s always great. I think mum and dad were here yesterday so that was nice,” Smith said.
Australia can do better against Jadeja in the second innings: Smith
With the general consensus that Australia were a few runs short of par in the first innings, the hosts will look to do better against Indian spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who’s niggling line earned him figures of 4-62.
Smith agreed the hosts could have built a better total without some lapses of concentration.
“I thought we gave him a few wickets, to be honest. A few loose shots,” he said.
“In the second innings … there might be a bit of rough there for lefties, the boys will just have to sum it up and play it on the go.
“But I still think we’ve got to keep our positive mindset against both spinners, that’s for sure.”
With the game still evenly poised on day three, Smith said Australia might have the edge due to the fact India have to bat last.
“As the game wears on it’s probably going to get harder and harder to score,” he said.