Australia’s former captain, Steve Smith, responded to criticism of his new role as a Test opener, defending his adaptability and resilience after accumulating a commendable 60 average across four innings.

Steve Smith, responding to criticism over his new Test opener role, dismissed excessive commentary following modest scores against the West Indies. Doubts raised by figures like Michael Vaughan and Mark Waugh about his technique against the new ball’s swing and seam movement fueled concerns despite Smith’s 16,000+ international runs. The resilient 91-run innings at the Gabba and a commendable 60 average across four innings silenced critics.

Addressing critiques, the former Australia captain defended his adaptability to opening, emphasizing his extensive experience facing a new ball.

“There was a lot of commentary around I’d failed in two or three innings or whatever it was. I had a not-out and two low scores. And now I think I’m averaging 60 as an opener. I didn’t really read too much into it. It was just another position. I’ve batted against a new ball numerous times coming in early,” Smith was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I’ve thought about it; whether we could do different things. Maybe, I could have taken five balls against Shamar, he was on fire, obviously. But then I run the risk of not getting a run off the last ball and Hoff having to take all six from Alzarri [Joseph], who’s a pretty good bowler as well. You can weigh those things up. Four/two is the traditional way to do things, I suppose, and it felt right at the time. But yeah, it wasn’t to be,” he added.

As Australia gears up for the one-day series against the West Indies, Smith will resume his regular position at number four and take on the leadership role in the absence of Pat Cummins. With David Warner retired from the one-day format and Mitchell Marsh unavailable, Smith will captain a revamped side in the series opener in Melbourne. Wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Inglis is slated to partner with Travis Head at the top of the order, and all-rounder Cameron Green has been elevated to number three.

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Last Updated on January 31, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter