Melbourne, Oct 7 (IANS) Former Australia captain and top-order batter Steve Smith has said he might not be as “strong and powerful” as some other cricketers in the side like Cameron Green but his utility on home wickets cannot be underestimated as he can punch and time the ball really well.
Smith was not included in the playing XI in the opening T20I against the West Indies at Carrara on October 5, with young allrounder Green getting the nod for the game, despite the youngster not being a part of Australia’s T20 World Cup 15-member squad.
The selectors’ decision to drop Smith has invited a lot of criticism, with experts saying Cricket Australia is getting its priorities wrong ahead of the showpiece event, beginnng on October 16.
Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke has lambasted the selectors for playing Green and leaving out Smith, who needs as much game time as possible in the lead-up to the World Cup.
Smith said his role over the years has been that of Mr Fix-it, where he has had to consolidate the innings brick-by-brick and he is trying to develop the attacking mindset of a T20 cricketer.
One of the things that go in Smith’s favour is his ability to hit the ball to all parts of the park, which compliments his sharp running between the wickets. It’s a trait that many experts feels trumps brute power on expansive Australian grounds.
“Just having that more attacking mindset rather than, when I was playing that kind of (Mr Fix-It) role, I was probably in a more defensive frame of mind and almost trying to bat through without taking the game on as much,” Smith was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Smith said he is not averse to playing according to the situation provided he gets the “licence” to do so.
“But just having the license to go out and just play the way I want to play, and the situation that’s in front of me, I think that’s the way I play best.
“For me, I’m not as strong and powerful as the some of the other guys. But some wickets entail just good smarts and punching the ball and timing the ball really well, particularly in Australia with big grounds, running hard between the wickets, that kind of thing,” he added.
In the opening game against the West Indies, which the hosts won by three wickets, Australia placed major emphasis on having bowling options in their top six, one of the key reasons behind Smith’s making way for allrounder Green. Smith said he wasn’t sure if that’s the template Australia want for the T20 World Cup.
“Whether that’s going to be the same going forward, I’m not really sure,” Smith said. “We’ve got a really good depth to our squad. Tim David’s come in and done really well. Everyone’s in a good place. So we’ll wait and see.
“People talk about matchups for different oppositions and conditions — we’ve got a really good squad so we can pick it accordingly… we’ve got options whichever way we go about it,” he added.