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Brian Lara backs Steve Smith to be successful as Test opener
By SMCS - Jan 13, 2024 9:00 am
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Former West Indies legend Brian Lara backed Steve Smith to be successful as an opener in Test cricket. The former captain also said that Smith is accustomed to facing the new cherry and he has got the technique to thrive. After a lot of confusion and discussion, Smith was confirmed as the opener ahead of the Test series against the West Indies. He will take up the role for the first time in Test cricket, replacing David Warner, who retired from the format recently.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

Speaking to Fox Cricket’s podcast The Follow On, Lara said, “I’m almost sure that Steve Smith would have had a part to play in that decision and you know, batting at number three (or four), you have got to have the frame of mind that you can be out there in the first over. So I don’t see it being a problem. I don’t see it being like a number six or number seven batsman getting to open, (who is) accustomed facing the ball when it’s older. So I feel that he’s got the technique. He has definitely got the mental strength to do it.”

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While Steve Smith has established himself as one of the best Test batters of the generation, he has slotted in at No.3 or 4 on all occasions. The veteran averages well over 50 in both spots. However, Brian Lara hopes to see the Caribbean bowlers bowl well with the new ball and not bowl short against Smith and Usman Khawaja as well.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

“I think that he’s most likely going to be a success with it as well. I hope (they don’t) because the more you bang the ball into the wicket earlier, you know, it loses its shine very early. I think that it’s an opportunity, of course depending on the surface and the atmosphere, to use the new ball. So hopefully that’s not one of the tactics that we’re going to use early. I think that’s counter-productive,” Brian Lara concluded.