Former Australia captain, Kim Hughes feels that the reason Steve Smith is not doing well with the bat in the ongoing series against India is that the right-hander has been away from his family for a long time.
Smith has scores of 1, 1*, 0, and 8 in 4 innings against India– he hasn’t looked comfortable at the crease while facing the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, which is odd considering his dominant record over off-spinners.
Australia’s batting has been a major concern this series – the hosts have been bowled out for 191, 195, and 200 in 3 out of 4 innings. While David Warner will strengthen the batting as he returns for the third Test, it is Steve Smith’s runs Australia will crave for the most.
Smith hasn’t been in a good space away from his partner: Kim Hughes
Kim Hughes reckons that since Smith has been away from his wife, Dani Willis for a long time, he isn’t in the best mental space. Smith left home in August for limited-overs series in England, then went to the UAE to lead Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. He returned to Australia for the home series against India but he was in quarantine and was free just ahead of the series. However, he could not meet his wife because of the bio-bubble protocols.
“Look, Smith is a world-class player but hasn’t looked like it in the Test series. He has been away from his wife Dani for over four-and-a-half months due to cricket schedule and quarantine restrictions. Smith hasn’t been in a good space- away from his partner,” Kim Hughes told Times of India.
Dani travelled to Melbourne to be with Smith but was denied entry due to COVID-19 protocols owing to the sudden outbreak of the virus in Sydney. The two will finally meet in Sydney, where Smith will face India in the third Test of the series.
The right-hander notched back-to-back tons in the ODI series at the same ground. Hughes opines that Smith returns to the SCG, and having met his wife, he will score big runs in the third Test starting 7th January.
“I expect him to do well in Sydney. Smith just needs to spend some time in the middle, and the runs will come automatically,” Kim Hughes added.