Steve Smith to be a part of Australia's T20 World Cup squad? Coach Andrew McDonald provides a massive update

Updated - 22 Feb 2024, 11:08 AM

Andrew McDonald and Steve Smith
Andrew McDonald and Steve Smith (Image Credits: Twitter)

Australia coach Andrew McDonald confirmed that star batter Steve Smith remains in contention for the T20 World Cup 2024. Andrew McDonald mentioned that Steve Smith will open the batting in the next game as Australia explores different combinations.

Steve Smith was not included in Australia’s playing XI for the first T20I against New Zealand in Wellington on Wednesday, February 21. He has only played two T20I matches in the past 15 months, where he opened in a series against India in November last year.

We’re Playing Steve Smith For A Reason – Andrew McDonald

Speaking after the first T20I, Andrew McDonald stated that Steve Smith “was in our thinking” for the upcoming ICC tournament. McDonald mentioned that Steve missed matches in South Africa due to injury.

“If he wasn’t in our thinking then he wouldn’t be on the plane over here. We’re playing him for a reason,” McDonald said.

“He’ll get some opportunity here, he had some opportunities in India at the back end of a World Cup and we were planning for him to play in South Africa as well going as far back as August-September (last year), but he unfortunately had a wrist injury at the time, so he missed those three one-dayers,” he added.

The 34-year-old batter was part of Australia’s T20 World Cup 2022 campaign but played only one match. He demonstrated his batting prowess as an opener for the Sydney Sixers in the 2022-23 Big Bash League (BBL) season. As a result, he got his chance to open in T20Is.

Despite his success in Test and ODI cricket, Smith has struggled in T20Is. The ace batter has amassed 1079 runs across 65 matches at an average of 25.69 with a strike rate of 125.17. He has smashed five half-centuries in the format, with a best score of 90 runs.

Steve Smith Is Definitely In The Thoughts – Andrew McDonald

Andrew McDonald confirmed that Steve Smith remains a part of their plans for the opening role in the upcoming tournament. The head coach stated that Smith’s presence creates healthy competition for positions in the top order.

“But he’s definitely in the thoughts. We’ll probably play him in a slightly different role to what we’ve seen in previous World Cups in T20 cricket,” McDonald further stated.

“He’s gone to the top of the order in recent times, so batting high up there’s still competition for places. I suppose that’s a good problem to have.”

Travis Head and David Warner opened for Australia during the series opener. Head scored 24 runs off 15 deliveries, while Warner contributed 32 runs off 20 balls. The Men in Yellow successfully chased down 216 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Mitchell Marsh scored an unbeaten 72 runs off 44 balls with the help of two boundaries and seven sixes. The Australian skipper conceded 21 runs in three overs, taking one wicket. He was named ‘Player of the Match’ for his all-round contribution in the first T20I match.

The upcoming second T20I between Australia and New Zealand is scheduled to take place at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday, February 23.

Also read: Steve Smith’s T20 future uncertain as Mitchell Marsh confirms Australia’s top three for the series against New Zealand


Andrew Mcdonald Australia National Cricket Team NZ vs AUS 2024 Steve Smith