Tim Paine Comments On Steve Smith’s Opening Role: Preference For Opposing Teams
By CricShots - Mar 14, 2024 3:11 pm
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Former Australia captain Tim Paine has weighed in on Steve Smith’s transition to opening the batting, expressing his preference for Smith to be at the top of the order if he were the opposition. Smith has taken up the role of opener following David Warner’s retirement but has encountered difficulties in settling into his new position.

steve smith
Steve Smith

Tim Paine, speaking to ESPN, highlighted the strategic advantage for opposing teams in having Smith as the opening batsman, citing the opportunity to challenge him with fresh bowlers and a new ball.

“I look at it, that if I was playing against Australia, where would I prefer Steve Smith to bat? If I’m the opposition, I want him opening the batting. I want my best bowlers at their freshest with a brand-new ball,” Tim Paine remarked, reflecting on Smith’s formidable presence at the crease in previous roles.

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While Tim Paine acknowledged Smith’s potential to succeed as an opener, he emphasized the advantage it provides for opponents seeking to dismiss him early in the innings.

“I would love to see him succeed as an opener, I think he can, there’s no doubt about that, he’s good enough to bat anywhere, but as an opposition player I want him at the top of the order because that gives me the best chance of getting him out,” Tim Paine added.

Steve Smith and Tim Paine 

Smith’s transition to the opening position has been met with mixed results thus far, with the star batter struggling to replicate his usual consistency. In the recent series against New Zealand, Smith managed just 51 runs across two matches, underscoring the challenges he has faced in adapting to his new role.

Despite his struggles, Steve Smith remains undeterred, asserting that opening is not significantly different from his previous positions in the batting order.

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“It’s fun, but honestly I don’t see it as anything different. I batted at three for an extended part of my career and I batted at four, where I’ve been in inside of two overs. It’s really nothing that new to me,” Steve Smith explained.