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Steve Smith admits he needs to turn it around as Australia's Test opener

Smith has spent the majority of his Test career at No. 4 garnering 5,966 runs at 61.50 with 19 centuries and 26 fifties, while at No 3. he has made 1,744 runs at 67.07 with eight hundreds and five half-centuries.
Last Updated : 06 April 2024, 07:42 IST
Last Updated : 06 April 2024, 07:42 IST

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Mumbai: Australia batter Steve Smith has admitted finding it ‘challenging’ as an opener in Test cricket but is eager to turn it around after going through a rough patch since taking up the role.

Smith put his hand up to fill in the spot vacated by David Warner after he retired from Tests last Australian summer, but the former has had his share of troubles in his new batting position.

The move was indeed surprising since it diverted from the policy of appointing the specialists for the opening role including Cameron Bancroft, Matthew Renshaw and Marcus Harris.

The promotion in the batting order certainly has not worked for the 34-year-old Smith, considered one of Australia's best-ever, since he has averaged a mere 28.50 in four Tests against his career average of 56.97 and nearing 10,000 runs.

"I'm not reading too much into it. You know, I feel like I've still been batting well," Smith, a member of the Star Sports Incredible Star Cast, told PTI.

"A few things I'd like to fix up a little bit technically, but I've had that going throughout my whole career, and it doesn't really matter where I'm at in that respect. We'll wait and see," he added.

Smith has spent the majority of his Test career at No. 4 garnering 5,966 runs at 61.50 with 19 centuries and 26 fifties, while at No 3. he has made 1,744 runs at 67.07 with eight hundreds and five half-centuries.

For that matter, even at No 5, the right-handed batter has enjoyed success with 1,258 runs in 19 Tests at 57.18 with four centuries and six fifties.

In his defence, Smith pointed out that while the pitches he batted on as opener were tricky, the opposition batters did not flourish on them too until the ball had lost its sheen.

"It's been challenging so far. We've played with some tricky wickets, particularly new-ball wickets that have done quite a bit. It has been challenging. I'd love to sort of turn it around and score some runs up there, that's for sure," he said.

"(You) can't sort of underplay how difficult the wickets have been. A lot of the top orders that we've played against haven't scored a great deal of runs, and it hasn't been until the 30-40 overs-mark that we've seen the wickets get a little bit better and the lower order score some runs," he added.

Former captain Tim Paine suggested Australia will be playing in India’s hands if Smith is persisted at the top of the order and not moved back to his usual No. 4 slot.

The two teams are set to face-off in a five-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy later this year and Smith, who remained non-committal about his future, said it was exciting to play that many games in the series.

"We really enjoy playing against each other. There's that sort of rivalry there now and it's going to be five Test matches for the first time, which is exciting. I'm looking forward to this summer; it is going to be a great contest," he said.

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Published 06 April 2024, 07:42 IST

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