Veteran Australian batter Steve Smith has recently opened up about his revamped role on the T20I side. Due to his stunning strokeplay and skill against spin bowling, he has played the role of the anchor in the top order throughout the years. However, the rise of all-rounder Mitchell Marsh at No.3 gave a lot of options in the middle order and it has stirred Smith’s position too in the batting line-up.
Smith told cricket.com.au: “I’m pretty excited that tag’s been taken off, to be honest with you. Diva (stand-in coach Michael di Venuto) actually told me the other day. He said ‘we’re getting rid of that tag, that’s gone. Just go out and play freely. If you want to smack your first or second ball for six, go for it’. So now it’s just about going out and playing freely and trusting my instincts, which I think I’ve done well over any format for a long time, instead of being a bit more reserved and trying not to get out, which I don’t think the right way to play T20 cricket.”
However, Steve Smith has been named in the playing XI for the first T20I against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium as well. Surrounded by the swashbuckling batters like Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis in the batting order, he has to do a lot to be in the team as well.
“When I’m playing the role that I was picked to play previously, you’re not as aggressive or free flowing as you could be. Then you see guys like ‘Maxi’ and ‘Stoin’ behind you and you suddenly feel pressure to turn the switch on straightaway. That’s not the way I’d generally play the game,” Steve Smith concluded.