Steve Smith has admitted he was ‘probably in a more defensive frame of mind’ earlier in T20 games, but now he is ready for the T20 World Cup with a ‘more attacking mindset’. Smith was dropped from the playing XI in Australia's recent T20I fixture against West Indies, which took place in Queensland.
Steve Smith might be considered one of the greatest Test batters of all time, but his records in limited-overs cricket, especially in T20s, are not that great. In 60 T20Is that he has played so far for Australia, Smith has aggregated a paltry 960 runs at a strike rate of 126.13, averaging 25.79. His recent tour of India, where they played three T20Is, was not that impressive as well. As a result, with the T20 World Cup about to get underway, the 33-year-old was dropped from Australia’s playing XI on Wednesday against West Indies in the first T20I of the two-match series. In his absence, skipper Aaron Finch stepped up and played his preferred anchor role at No. 4.
Yet, Smith is hopeful that he will be key in Australia’s forthcoming T20 World Cup campaign at home. In a chat in Brisbane, where they will be playing the second and the last T20I against West Indies, Smith remarked that his skillset of keeping the scoreboard ticking on the big grounds in Australia would definitely help them in order to retain the prestigious title. At the same time, Smith admitted he was more of a defensive batsman earlier in this format, which no longer exists in his current batting.
“Just having that more attacking mindset rather than when I was playing that kind of (recovery) role, I was probably in a more defensive frame of mind and almost trying to bat through without taking the game on as much. But just having the license to go out and just play the way I want to play, and the situation that’s in front of me, I think that’s the way I play best,” Smith said, as quoted by Indian Express.
“For me, I’m not as strong and powerful as some of the other guys. But some wickets entail just good smarts and punching the ball and timing the ball really well, particularly in Australia with big grounds, running hard between the wickets, that kind of thing.”
Having taken an unassailable 1-0 lead, Australia will be taking on West Indies on Sunday at the Gabba.