Steven Smith has expressed his intrigue regarding England's new found aggressive approach to Test cricket, wondering whether it is sustainable in the long run. He went on to recount an instance of when Australia took the same route before discussing his run-out in the first Test versus Sri Lanka.
Steven Smith has become the latest cricketer to express his views on the recent exploits of the England cricket team. Under the leadership of newly anointed captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, the side has produced a flurry of displays of revolutionary cricket.
The English have placed an emphasis on chasing regardless of the pitch's behaviour, before unleashing aggressive onslaughts on opposition bowlers. Recently, they chased a record 378 against India in just 76.4 overs with seven wickets to spare. This approach of theirs has been dubbed 'Bazball' and has irked Smith's antenna, who admitted to being excited by it.
“I’ve watched a little bit of it, it’s certainly been entertaining. Even someone like Alex Lees started to come down the wicket when he was on nothing. It’s been exciting. I’m just intrigued to see how long it lasts, if it’s sustainable," Smith was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
The former Australian captain pondered whether the style would be successful on good bowling pitches against potent pace attacks.
“If you come on a wicket that’s got some grass on it and Josh Hazlewood, [Pat] Cummins and [Mitchell] Starc are rolling in at you, is it going to be the same? We’ll see what happens. I’m intrigued by it all, we’ll see what happens," he stated.
The Men in Green themselves are no strangers to fast paced batting in red-ball cricket. Recently, they put up a score of 321 in just under 71 overs. Smith recalled the final Test of the latest Ashes series, where Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne put together a 71 run partnership in just 12.2 overs. They rescued Australia from a score of 12-3, as Head's counter-attacking 101 off 113 balls earned the Aussies a 146-run win.
“The pink-ball game in Hobart, when Heady and Marnus started to take the game on, the wicket was doing plenty so it was [to] counteract, put some pressure back on the bowler mentality, and it worked on that occasion. Is it going to work every time? I don’t know," Smith wondered.
Australia are currently in Sri Lanka for a two match Test series. Even though the visitors won the opening encounter dominantly by 10-wickets, Smith was left frustrated on a personal level after getting run out on just 6. He expressed his anger to batting partner Usman Khawaja on the pitch, but claims to have sorted things out with the opener.
“I hate getting run out. I think anyone does. Particularly given the [tough] conditions and gifting them a wicket. As one of the most experienced players I was pretty upset," he revealed.
“That happens in the game. I got over it pretty quickly. I had to keep moving forward and that is part of the game. I spoke to Uz straight after and he was pretty chilled. Mix-ups happen, we keep moving on."