Senior Australian batter Steve Smith said there is a need for him to change his approach to playing against spin bowlers and enhance with shot selection in the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in their own backyard.
Early in March this year, Smith scored 226 runs in four innings at an average of 56.50 and made three half-centuries in the three-match Test series against Pakistan. Smith was the second-highest run-getter for Australia in that series after Usman Khawaja (496) but failed to convert his better starts into a hundred, which he hasn’t for more than a year since scoring 131 against India in Sydney last year.
I could’ve potentially been a bit more aggressive against the spin in Pakistan: Steve Smith
Smith holds a batting strike rate of 115.86 and an average of 36.22 against spinners in Test cricket and has also been dismissed 50 times against them. The Australian Test vice-captain acknowledged his woes against spinners in Pakistan and looks to make amendments for the same in Sri Lanka.
“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 added.
Injured Steve Smith to come back for Test series against Sri Lanka
Smith was part of Australia’s teams in the white-ball leg of the Sri Lanka tour. He played all three T20 International matches and the first two ODI matches before sustaining a quad injury, which ruled him out of the third game of the five-match series.
Smith is unlikely to be available for the final ODI on June 24 (Friday) as the star Australian batter shits his focus on the two Tests, starting on June 29 in Galle.