Steven Smith despite the rocky start as opener managed to show his skill scoring a valiant 91 in the second Test against WI. (Image: AFP)
Steven Smith responded to the criticism he has received regarding his rocky start as an opening batter for Australia with a bold statement despite the side picking up the loss at the Gabba.
Australian cricketer Steve Smith has finally addressed the drama surrounding his new role as the team’s Test opener. Smith is widely known for his prowess in red-ball cricket but his recent performances have not lived up to what is expected of the star batter.
With his fellow teammate David Warner retiring from the Test format, Smith took up the vacant role of opener, which sparked doubts among several cricket pundits, analysts and commentators. According to ESPNCricinfo, Smith commented regarding the criticism he has received in his new role.
He commented, “There was a lot of commentary around I’d failed in two or three innings…I had a not-out and two low scores. Now I’m averaging 60 as an opener.’ He had made this comment ahead of Australia’s opening ODI fixture against the West Indies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Smith was certainly not happy with the harsh criticism of him for his new role. In the report, Smith further spoke on how the new role was nothing more than positional change. “It was just another position; I’ve battled against the new ball numerous times, coming in early”, he added. Smith then also said that he was enjoying his new role but depending on his team’s requirements, the cricketer wouldn’t mind moving back in the batting order. “I’ve enjoyed the first couple of weeks of it…If they see fit to move me back down, I’ll do whatever the team needs”, Smith concluded.
While Steven Smith’s form against the West Indies had been slightly questionable, he proved his mettle in the second Test versus the Caribbean side. He was the only player who had an answer for the Windies’ latest pace addition Shamar Joseph. After some dry scores of 12, 11-not-out and six, Smith produced another unbeaten 91 runs in 146 balls in the second innings of the final Test. His knock included nine boundaries and one six.
Despite Steven Smith making a case for himself as a solid opener for his side, Australia were unable to beat the West Indies at the Gabba. The match resulted in a historic victory for the visitors who won their first Test in Australia since 1997. In the match, no one other than Smith was able to tackle Shamar Joseph’s pace as the Windies bowler scalped seven wickets while giving away 68 runs.
Shamar’s dominant showing at the Gabba earned him some praise for Smith. He said, “He’s a rare talent and I think it’s great for cricket what he was able to do and see the West Indies competing like they did.”
Having levelled their Test series 1-1, Australia and West Indies will now play a three-match ODI series starting from February 2.