AUS vs SA | Happy playing but don't know how long it will last, ponders Steve Smith
Steve Smith pulled off a unique celebration as a reference to Marnus Labuschagne's remarks on being 'chainsawed' by an Anrich Nortje delivery|
Steve Smith revealed he was enjoying putting in work for the team and scoring runs but acknowledged that it is bound to take a toll eventually as questioned his longevity. Smith further talked about his role in the team as a senior batter and the importance of seeing off tough patches in Tests.
Steve Smith broke records yet again on Thursday as he went past Sir Don Bradman's tally of centuries in Tests with his 30th in the third and final encounter against South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The 32-year-old continued his stellar form in red-ball cricket, notching up a hundred in the first match of the new year having already scored a double century earlier in the summer.
Smith currently averages 60.89 with 8,647 runs in Tests and has a chance to go down as the game's greatest-ever batter should he carry on with the same consistency he has displayed over the past decade. However, the former Australian skipper admitted he did not have much idea about how much time he had left in the tank.
“I really can’t say how long I’ll play for, I’m not sure. Take it one tour at a time, enjoy it, enjoy training and trying to get better. Whilst I’m doing that I’m happy playing, but don’t know how long it will last,” Smith was quoted saying after his latest ton to the Indian Express.
“It’s trying to get better, help the team win games of cricket. Think we’ve played some really good cricket the last 12 months…we’ve got two really big hurdles in front of us with India and the Ashes. For me, it is trying to get better and trying to help some of the other batters coming through.”
Smith took 192 deliveries for his 104, eventually looping back a delivery straight to Keshav Maharaj. His knock was laced with 11 boundaries and two maximums but also involved a patch where he struggled to keep the scoreboard ticking.
“It’s not going to be perfect every time. So when you aren’t feeling as good as you’d like you just try to grind it out, get through that initial period then hopefully things get easier. I didn’t feel great my first 60-70 balls, I reckon, then things started to click and feel a lot better. Pleased I was able to get through that initial period,” he explained.
Australia's batting has been formidable this summer, with the likes of Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head chipping in with centuries while Cameron Green continued to impress. Smith spoke of his role as the mentor of the side in his capacity as vice-captain and a senior batter.
“I still try to help Marnus as much as possible, Head, Cameron Green, Matty Renshaw, Marcus Harris…try to impart as much knowledge of conditions and ways to go about. If I can say something and you see that lightbulb go on and someone figures something out I get a big thrill out of that. I’ll try and help them as much as I can," he revealed.