AUS vs WI: 'Do Not Really Like Waiting To Bat': Steve Smith On Taking Up Opener's Role In Test Cricket

AUS vs WI: 'Do Not Really Like Waiting To Bat': Steve Smith On Taking Up Opener's Role In Test Cricket

Smith has never opened in a Test or his first-class career of 16 years.

ANIUpdated: Saturday, January 13, 2024, 02:37 PM IST
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Steve Smith during WTC 2023 Final against India | Credits: Twitter

Australian batter Steve Smith stated that the reason he moved to the opening spot following David Warner's retirement is simple, that he does not like to wait for his batting.

Out of many incumbent players like Travis Head, the white-ball opener, Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Marsh, who has also opened in white-ball cricket, Smith put his hands up and offered to move to the very top of the batting line-up.

This new look line-up will start its journey without Warner during the two-match Test series against West Indies from January 17 onwards at Adelaide.

The selectors decided to go ahead with Smith opening as this has reopened the number four spot for the batting all-rounder Cameron Green, who was sitting on the sidelines in favour of an in-form Marsh.

'I do not really like waiting to bat': Steve Smith

Smith has never opened in a Test or his first-class career of 16 years. But he is no stranger to the new, swinging ball doing its tricks. During the 2019 Ashes, Smith was often tested by the new and shining cherry and the longest he had to wait for his batting was till 23rd over at Lord's.

He was batting at number four throughout the series, which saw him make 774 runs in four matches with three centuries and three fifties.

"Since I guess Marnus [Labuschagne] has been playing at number three, I have been waiting to bat for quite a long period of time and I do not really like waiting to bat," Smith told Fox Cricket while playing for Sydney Sixers as quoted by ESPNCricinfo on Friday.

"So I thought, why do not I put my hand up and have a crack up top and that way you can get Cameron Green in and you are playing your six best batters so hopefully it works out," he added.

Smith excited to face new ball in Tests vs West Indies

Smith is excited to face the new ball and feels that his success in the 2019 Ashes is something he can always look upto for inspiration.

"I am [excited]. I like facing the newer ball. I think if you look back to the 2019 Ashes I was in pretty early most of the time there where I was facing the new ball." Former Australian captain said.

I batted number three for a number of years as well and was in early and did pretty well against the new ball so it is nothing new or foreign to me. You know I enjoy getting in there and getting amongst it and yeah, I am looking forward to that challenge," he added.

David Warner on Steve Smith as Test Opener

Warner, who recently retired from Test and ODI cricket after facing Pakistan in a three-match Test series, feels that Smith is at an advantage will opening as more conventional bowling and tactics early in the innings will let him score with freedom.

In recent years, opponents have chalked out many plans against Smith, like bouncers from round the wicket, stacked leg-side fields, which though have not led to his dismissal, but have stemmed his scoring rate.

"He likes to walk cross and get onto the legside and get it away there," Warner said

"People have been bowling short to him when he first gets in. But he finds a way. Early on, they are going to try and swing the ball and pitch the ball up. And he is going to be allowed to get into his game and his game plan. Get into the rhythm of how he wants to bat and he can dictate. So I am actually looking forward to seeing how he goes," he added.

Warner said that he feels that Smith and Usman Khawaja have an year or two in Test and they can play in the 2025-26 Ashes at home. Matt Renshaw has been earmarked as a future opener but Warner has backed Green's return to the side.

"It is a good taste for Greeny...24 years of age," he said.

"They are going to have to look for two new guys up the top [of] the order. But to get that No. 4 replacement as well, that is your foundation at three and four. So if they can knuckle that down, they have got a base in the middle. Then they just have a look for some more openers," he concluded.

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