Right-handed batter Steve Smith said that he is working on improving his game while facing quality spin bowling. Earlier this year, the veteran played three Tests against Pakistan, where he was Australia’s second-highest run-scorer in the series after Usman Khawaja. Smith scored 226 runs from four innings at an average of 56.50.
While he scored three half-centuries, Smith was disappointed after he failed to convert even one of them. The New South Wales-born cricketer said that playing shots against spin-bowling and putting pressure on the opposition is the best way forward.
Smith put forth his opinions before Australia’s two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, set to get underway on Wednesday, June 29 at the Galle International Stadium.
“I probably had three opportunities to get hundreds in Pakistan, I just didn’t quite convert them. I feel like my plans were in a pretty decent place, but I could’ve potentially been a bit more aggressive against the spin over there, and played a few more shots,” Smith was quoted as saying on The Unplayable Podcast.
“But I was also batting at stages where the ball was reversing quite big and I know as a batter coming in next, it’s probably the toughest thing to face a reversing ball on those kinds of wickets against some good bowlers in (Shaheen) Afridi and Hasan Ali.”
“So it’s playing the game and being patient and playing the tempo, which we spoke a lot about in Pakistan; against the new ball you can play a few more shots, like I did in the third Test when I got in a little bit earlier , and got some boundaries away early,” he stated.
“But then when the ball gets a bit softer, it’s reversing, you have to rein it back in until you get your moment to go a bit more aggressive.
“But against the spin, I know I’ve got a few more shots that I can potentially bring out and put a bit more pressure back on the bowler,” Smith added.
Smith has been among the greatest batters in Test cricket in his era, having scored 8010 runs from 85 matches at an average of 59.77 with 27 centuries and 36 half-centuries to show for his efforts. However, he hasn’t got a three-figure score in the purest format since his 131-knock against Ajinkya Rahane’s India in the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy match at the SCG.