Former Australian captain Steve Smith will get back to professional cricket this week as Australia squares off against England on the 4th of September, beginning with the first of the three T20Is. With England assimilating a full-strength limited-overs squad to face their arch-rivals, Australia will face a challenging task toppling them. However, Joe Root’s absence from England’s T20 team surprised Steve Smith.
England Test captain Joe Root has not played a T20 international since May 2019. It is mainly due to Root’s strike rate, which is relatively lower as compared to T20 standards due to which he has found himself out. With England boasting of the likes of Dawid Malan, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Banton, and Jason Roy in the line-up, the Yorkshire batsman finds it hard to break into the squad. Nevertheless, Joe Root has expressed his desire to play the 2021 T20 World Cup and selector Ed Smith has also left the door open for his comeback.
Steve Smith expressed surprise at not seeing Root’s name in the T20 squad, labelling him as a terrific player. Smith reckons that the Englishmen are targetting a power-packed line-up and admits every team has different game-plans and way to go. At the same time, he feels such gameplay would become monotonous. While Root stands omitted from the shortest format for now, he makes it to the ODI squad.
“It’s a surprise. Joe is a terrific player across all formats of the game. I guess England are opting for all-out power and are continuing to go that way. Everyone’s got different game-plans and different ways to go. If everyone played the same it would be a pretty boring game,” Smith told Britain’s Press Association news agency.
Steve Smith talks about his role in Australia’s T20 team:
While the likes of David Warner, Aaron Finch, and Glenn Maxwell are slam-bang batsmen, Steve Smith approaches his game-plan differently. The 31-year old elaborated that when batting with Finch or Maxwell, his task is to get them on strike and let them smash the ball around the park. He continued saying that his job is to pick the gaps and stabilise the innings in case of a collapse. Australia currently lead the T20 team rankings.
“I know if I’m batting with someone like Glenn Maxwell or Aaron Finch my role is to get them on strike and let them smack it. For me it’s about hitting gaps, sort of playing an anchor role and fixing things up if the big boys don’t get out there and smack it,” the New South Wales batsman added.