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Smith defines himself as a batsman

Daniel Brettig

September 12, 2012

Comments: 61 | Text size: A | A

Steve Smith's unhappy experience at No. 6 continued when he edged behind off James Anderson, Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, December 26, 2010
Steve Smith was a spinner, No. 6 batsman and allrounder in his brief Test career © Getty Images
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"What does Steve Smith do, exactly?"

This question, having lingered over Australian cricket for several summers, appears finally to have been answered by the man himself.

As he prepared to begin the domestic season with New South Wales against Western Australia in Perth on Sunday, Smith stated plainly that he now considers himself a batsman, intent on promotion in the Blues' order and earning a place in the top six for Australia.

Across five Tests, 32 ODIs and 20 Twenty20 matches for his country, Smith's role has appeared hazy, even the subject of derision from opponents. He has been the lead spinner, an allrounder, a top six batsman then an allrounder again, all the time seeming to flounder without the "role clarity" Australia's coach Mickey Arthur is so often seeking.

On this year's ODI tour of England, Smith made scores of 8 and 21 while bowling two overs, seeming more spare part than central component. Having also been taken to the UAE for the ODI series against Pakistan, 23-year-old Smith is aware he is close to the Australian team, and now appears to know that it is runs not wickets, that will keep him there.

"Runs is my main priority at the moment, I'm working really hard on my batting," Smith said. "I believe to get back into the team it's through my batting, with my bowling there as well. But I think my batting it's just getting the runs on the board and getting those runs is going to be crucial for me.

"For me at the moment it's me focusing on my batting, I think that's what's going to get me there in the near future. I've always got my spin bowling to add to my bow, and if I keep working on that as well it just gives them another option if they need it."

On the subject of where he would like to bat in the future, Smith said he wanted to move higher up than the No. 6 spot he has occasionally occupied for Australia. His place in the batting order was the cause of some conjecture among the selectors and Australia's captain Ricky Ponting during the 2010-11 Ashes, when Smith spent two matches at six then went down to No. 7 for the final match in Sydney.

"I'd like to bat higher [then No. 6], I'm trying to bat as high as I can in this order," Smith said. "I think the higher you can bat in your Shield team, if you're doing well there the better off you're going to be for batting anywhere in the Test line-up or any of the line-ups. So that's my main goal at the moment, to go out and score a lot of runs and hopefully contribute for NSW.

"I ended last season pretty well with a few runs on some tough wickets, a couple of hundreds would've been nice, but runs are always good, and putting NSW in good positions this season is what I'm looking for as well. Hopefully we can do that, get a couple of early wins away and kick off that way."

The Blues begin their campaign with a visit to WA, the scene of a humiliating innings defeat last summer, when they were bowled out for 91 on day one then watched Liam Davis peel off a triple century. Smith took part in the match, and said the chance to return to the scene of the hiding was a welcome one.

"It was a pretty average game for us, a lot of boys sat down together after that game," he said. "Playing in Perth's obviously a little bit different to playing over here. This time we've got to have some clear goals and clear plans for particularly batting and to be able to get through the new ball and on the wicket with a bit more bounce it's going to be crucial to have good plans in place and stick with them the whole way through."

In their efforts to improve on last summer's poor showing, NSW will be helped by the presence of Australia's captain Michael Clarke for their opening three fixtures. "Michael's an unbelievable player and a good person to have around," Smith said. "If blokes can do well as well he can see that being a selector and it's always good to put your hand up in front of the Australian captain."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by MattyP1979 on (September 14, 2012, 20:17 GMT)

Ahh the future of CA. Although Aus have waffer thin batting/bowling stocks right now you cannopt blame them for choosing a specialist fielder. A guy who clames a catch he as laid on for 6 seconds must be worth a punt as he shows true Aussie gaming spirit.

Posted by Hammond on (September 14, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

@Dashgar, I'm actually a pretty good coach, teach the young blokes both back and front foot defence, and how to get inside the line to hook, and the on drive. And I know quite a lot about Australia, how could I not given I was born here and have lived my whole life here?

Posted by whatawicket on (September 14, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

sorry but as hes not a bowler what other way is there forward for him. when they pick a 42 year old to bowl the same style as he does there lies the trouble his employers also are of the same opinion.

Posted by Chris_P on (September 13, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

@Hammmond. Agree that youngsters want to start playing like their heroes & it doesn't help that junior cricket associations start introducing 25 over competitions as their main structure! There are enough young guys I see, both in our club other clubs who do possess solid techniques, certainly they are nurtured at our club, so it's not all gloom & doom, but the overall trend is worrying.

Posted by Dashgar on (September 13, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

@Hammond, no wonder the Aussie kids are struggling if you're coaching them. As a school teacher in Aus I talk to a lot of kids about cricket. Without fail any who are serious about the game have the same favourite player, Mike Hussey. Go worry about your own team, you clearly don't know the first thing about Australia.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (September 13, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

Smith certainly has potential - nobody would deny that. The problem is whether that potential will be actualised. His technique is not suited for the conditions test cricket is often played under - like a lot of young Australian batsmen. I think the decision to focus on batting is a good one and a step in the right direction, it's not exactly the best time in the world to be a spin bowler playing for Australia. Might want to wait a few decades until the endless (and foolish) comparisons of every Aussie spinner to Shane Warne finally stop.

Posted by Buckers410 on (September 13, 2012, 11:53 GMT)

About time. Always thought he was a batter. Good enough to be 4 or 5

Posted by Meety on (September 13, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

@Biggus - no worries mate, I wasn't aiming that one at you, there are plenty of people who bag Smith. I too am more annoyed at him getting selected when there was no role for him. I read an article at the end of the 10/11 summer - prior to the W/Cup, where Richie Benaud said his big wish for next year & beyond was that Cric Oz involved S Smith in everything (paraphrasing). As I bow to the bloke who has seen more overs of International cricket than any man alive, I am happy when Smith tours with the National team. I hate it when he gets a game batting @ #7, & maybe bowls an over. Cric Oz need to work with NSW & have Smith develop an ODI role for him, & get him batting in the top4 (did a bit of that late last year). I'd also hate to see him give up on his bowling, as I think variation was the only thing missing from his reportoire. But since Cric Oz only seem to have Davidson (the Canadian Sth Ozzy) as a spin bowling coach - I don't see him getting too far ahead as a leggie!

Posted by wardyinoz on (September 13, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

what a joke, this guy could not even make the england, south africa, west indies 3rd team. great fielder, poor bowler and non existant batman. australia would surely be in very hard times if they had to field smith any higher than no. 11

Posted by Hammond on (September 13, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

@RyanSmith- Just because Shivnarine looks terrible in his stance doesn't mean his technique is bad, in fact, he has probably the best batting technique in the world. The bat comes down straight, in line with the ball, and he doesn't often cross bat slog or "ramp" down to deep gully either. I'd rather teach his batting technique to a youngster any day versus this horrible ugly bottom hand dominant style that most young Aussie batsman are effecting. It's amateurish to watch.

Posted by Hammond on (September 13, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

I've coached young kids here in Australia and there is no point in teaching footwork or straight bat defence, all they want to do (and do in the actual game) is slog everything across the line. They start reverse sweeping at 10 and uppercuts over slips at 12. And they aren't remotely interested in the history of technique or watching good players and setting their techniques at an early age. It's step one get down as far as you can with the front foot, step two then move that front leg to the leg side to get more room to hit the ball, and step three with head in the air slog the ball as hard as you can with the bottom hand straight across the line. The future of batting technique in Australia is as bleak as it's ever been since the 19th century.

Posted by Timmuh on (September 13, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

My opinion, he's choosing the wrong path. His cross-court forehand style of batting will never succeed at test level, maybeit will work in T20 but that isn't cricket. His bowling, while a very long way from international standard at least shows promise. He is prepared to toss the ball up, try to give it a tweak, and give it every chance to do something. Control isn't too bad either, although there are probably a few too many loose ones. He could do with a little more variety and smarts on how to dismiss batsmen. Those things can come with time at Shield level, if he doesn't spend all Shield season wasted in limited overs games.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

Come on Smithy! To be fair, i'm not sure that he was picked too soon. His record at state level was A+ early on, hitting quick fire centuries and taking five-fors. He initially also did quite well in the ODI team, I thought. I think he has suffered from what rugby league coach Warren Ryan calls "the second season blues". Found out on his technique somewhat and going through a bad patch of form, it happens. I'd back him to develop into a very good limited overs format batsmen over the next couple of years and perhaps a more than useful batting allrounder at test level. A guy who can score quickly and break partnerships/add variety with the ball is the perfect no.6 and he's every chance of getting there in 4-5 years time, really hope he keeps working on his leggies.

Posted by Big-Dog on (September 13, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

Smith was one of the reasons Australia failed so badly last summer. For whatever reason, the selectors kept picking him in all formats of the game when he was repeatedly underperforming. He is going to have to rely on more than his fielding if he wants to play for Australia again.

Posted by ygkd on (September 13, 2012, 6:48 GMT)

Very interesting article by Martin Crowe on NZ's page. Talks about modern coaching styles and their influence on the ability to make 100s. Very relevant to this article I thought. Now if you were to copy someone's technique Crowe's would be an ideal model. He was picked (too) young but came through it a la Steve Waugh.

Posted by ygkd on (September 13, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

I'm with @Hammond on batting techniques not being as they were. It is easy just to blame T20 but bats and roped boundaries have also played a big part. Mostly though, coaching styles have changed. The stiff-armed manner in which Smith bats is actually a modern way. Call me a crusty old beggar but I think it has not resulted in an improvement at elite level (probably easier to teach more juniors that way though). As for Smith in Tests, I seem to recall he did well against Pakistan when they were...well, I don't exactly know for sure... Pakistan are now a much tougher opposition and so I wouldn't expect a repeat performance any time soon. Personally, I'd have given Smith's all-rounder opportunities to Andrew McDonald or now to Dan Christian. Steve O'Keefe also comes to mind. As for Steve Waugh at a similar stage, I thought he was unlucky to be dropped (despite not setting the world on fire he looked the part), but then his brother Mark was unlucky not to have been picked before that too.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 5:15 GMT)

A bit more stability probably wouldn't hurt a 23 year old - fourteen teams listed under his 'major teams'.

Posted by Biggus on (September 13, 2012, 3:53 GMT)

@Meety-That'd be Richie Benaud mate, too easy. I guess I come across as being fairly harsh on Smith and to be fair it's not him I'm annoyed at but the selectors pushing him into the team way too early and at the expense of others who have perhaps done more to warrant a place, hoping for some sort of wonder panacea in our post apocalyptic Shane Warne free zone. Richie would be the first to tell you that leggies (barring freaks) are generally are not fully formed until their mid/late twenties yet they keep on trying to create wonder boy Smith. He's a wonderful athlete but until he can offer more than bits and pieces it's hard to make a compelling case for his reselection in the longer forms. That's probably dawning on him too hence this statement. I wish him luck, I really do, but the last time I saw him play, admittedly maybe a year ago, he was still technically very loose.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 3:22 GMT)

Steve Smith is clearly a specialist fielder and nothing more, barely bats for his country and barely bowls. Its like having a Chris Martin that can hardly bat and hardly bowl, absolutely not needed.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 2:52 GMT)

jpeacock158 is very uninformed. A guy that averages 41 in first class cricket and had a good Shield season with the bat for NSW last year shouldn't be in the Shield team. Come on.... Smith was an opening batsman coming in to grade cricket for Sutherland as a 16 year old and the powers that be tried to make him something he wasn't.....

Posted by Meety on (September 13, 2012, 2:39 GMT)

I am happy for him to declare he is a batsmen, but would be dissappointed if he doesn't get out there & thoroughly practise his Leggies. IMO - all he was lacking was some lateral variation, he had fairly good line & length.

Posted by Meety on (September 13, 2012, 2:37 GMT)

***"With little to show for his first six years in Test cricket, he blossomed as a fully fledged allrounder..." *** this is a quote on the profile of a VERY famous Ozzy allrounder of yesteryear. Any guesses as to whom I am speaking about???????? By the end of his 6th year in Test cricket he was 28 yrs old, the age when he started to show his true worth! Smith is only 23!!!!!!!!! == == == @RyanSmith - well said, to completely bag S Smith is really to say that Shield cricket in Oz is now crap. This is clearly not the case, looking around at ALL the State bowling attacks, even Sth Oz has a quality line up, yet Smith has maintained an average that is worthy of selection on batting alone, despite few others consistantly rising to the challenge. @Chris_P - also well said, as many knowledgable pundits who have watched Smith bat in SHIELD cricket over the last 12mths would note a significant tightening of technique.

Posted by RyanSmith on (September 13, 2012, 2:19 GMT)

A good technique is one that works for you. Nobody thinks that Chanderpaul's technique is particularly orthodox or pretty, but it is mighty effective. The best technique for Smith is whatever works best for him. I know he is a long way off achieving what Steve Waugh did. Waugh played 168 tests which is more than almost everybody and he is probably the most successful captain in the history of the game. But after the same number of tests that Smith has played, Waugh's batting average was a meagre 12.55. After 26 tests Waugh was still yet to score a test hundred and averaged a mere 30.52. He hardly warranted a place in the top 6 as a batsman or as a bowler and he did get dropped from the team for a period. My only point is that I think Smith has talent, like Waugh did, and that I think he can work out his game and go on to be a more than handy test cricketer. A few solid shield seasons to work on his game will be good for him. Get off his case, and wish him the best!

Posted by gzawilliam on (September 13, 2012, 1:47 GMT)

His problem isnt domestic form and runs scored as he's usually in the top few players in first class runs in aus. But his technique does not stand up to top class bowling ala anderson , steyn and co. He needs to reinvent and tighten his technique significantly. I fear he is too far past that though.. There are other young batsmen who can bowl a bit coming through. With much better techniques

Posted by cecil89 on (September 13, 2012, 1:21 GMT)

Do people on here realise Smith has a higher first class average than George Bailey (current captain of our 20/20 team and current member of the 1 day team). Why are people so quick to shoot down a guy in his early 20's who averages 42 in first class cricket, has had a taste of international cricket and is now focussing on the area of his game that needs most work? He's also superior statistically to many players that have been given a chance internationally lately, such as Forrest and Maxwell. I don't understand all the negativity towards him.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 0:38 GMT)

Can't see him getting back into the test team as a batsman with guys like Khawaja, Ferguson, Burns and Davis all coming through as genuine batsmen and the spin stocks looking stronger with Lyon bowling well and Boyce looking like a fantastic prospect

Posted by PeteB on (September 13, 2012, 0:28 GMT)

Good luck to him. I think he'll benefit from being higher up the order for the mighty NSW. He seems to be aware that his bowling is of little quality and he is not realistically going to get beyond being a decent part time spinner. He seems to be aware that he needs to work on his game to go up the pecking order.

Posted by kempy21 on (September 13, 2012, 0:12 GMT)

Smith is a player who has been picked on potential and "x factor" and unfortunately for him, has failed to capitalise on his opportunities. As highlighted in the article, the problem was always "what does he do?" and at times he didn't even know himself. I don't think he has ever bashed down the door at first class level to demand selection which is what he needs to do this summer to warrant selection, especially if he is declaring he wants to bat in the top 6 for Australia. He'll need to improve on the mental side of the game, too often it seems that his default option is to hit to gain confidence, I don't see him being someone who can graft and innings and sit tight when needed. Saying all that though, his captaincy in the BBL last year showed that is is improving in the maturity side of things. @RyanSmith - Waugh was picked when Australia couldn't beat its way out of a wet paper bag. Times have changed now, we can't afford to pick guys like Smith and develop them in the side.

Posted by Number_5 on (September 12, 2012, 23:16 GMT)

its an age old debate, are all rounders worth a place in your team? As long as the game has been played there has been debate on this. Unless you are a genuine top 6 batsman OR good enough to open or be first change bowler, the team is better of with specialists. Steve can do neither of these. As @Hammond has pointed out, S.Waugh was a different player, could bat in top 6 and bowl first change BUT most importantly had a sound technique. Many Aussie kids have terrible technique (thanks T20) and watching Smith bat is like watching the wood chopping contest at the royal Agricultural show each year. Unless you can deliver game in, game out, with a poor technique (not many players have) you need to improve this part of your game. I wish Steve all the best and hope that next time i see him bat he doesn't hang his bat our to dry or leave a gap between bat and pad that I can drive my truck through.

Posted by Chris_P on (September 12, 2012, 22:15 GMT)

@Hammond. Actually, a very good point. T20 influence is very noticeable with young players coming through, their technique isn't as solid as it should be. That said, the games I saw Smith play for NSW last season saw a huge improvement in the manner he had batted, he has definitely been working with someone as he showed great application * imporved technique.

Posted by munawar87 on (September 12, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

Shoaib Malik is the perfect example of Steven Smith's future.... They are both only good at fielding.

Posted by jpeacock158 on (September 12, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

Steve Smith is lucky to be in the Shield team alone! He'a also only an average one day player and there are better players in Oz domestic cricket who can be in the national team. That said he could be Australia's Gary Pratt for the next Ashes!!! Pratt is now playing minor counties, so on a similar level to what Smith should be!!

Posted by mikey76 on (September 12, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

Shows the weakness of Australian cricket that this guy has played test cricket. We have two players in Borthwick and Rashid, leg-spinning all rounders who are better players yet aren't on the selectors radar at the moment. Smith has talent, raw talent at that. He would definitely benefit from a couple of seasons in county cricket, much like Philip Hughes has done.

Posted by bobagorof on (September 12, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

Smith has to do what he thinks is best for his career, but I think it's a shame that he will apparently not be focusing on his bowling and become a batting allrounder and second spinner. He would add a lot of versatility if he could do that. However, it was pretty clear early on in his career that there was no plan for his development (at least no consistent one), and it seems he has gone down the path of Cameron White. He had some good innings towards the end of last summer and I'm sure he'll play for Australia again with some retirements coming up in a few years, but he still has a lot of work to do. I only hope that, now he has decided on a direction, he'll be able to focus on that area and become more consistent.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (September 12, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

Not sure Clarke (who is doing a great job as captain) rates Smith's bowling. Smith doesn't seem to get many overs. Maybe that's why Smith is making this statement. Having not seen much of Smith since the last Ashes, I can't really say if his batting has improved much, but I do know that he looked atrocious at times during the Ashes. In the last test he seemed intent on getting a half century by any means, and there were some pretty ugly shots. He didn't seem to have the required temperament. If that's changed, then good luck to him, but I think there are a few other batsmen ahead of him for a top 6 batting position (especially with Watson in there as the 5th bowler).

Posted by Marcio on (September 12, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

Can't see him being test batsman (even though his first class average isn't as bad as the comments here might suggest (41). But he still has plenty of time to establish himself as a short form player, where his style is best suited.

Posted by Dashgar on (September 12, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

@Gautam, I know I shouldn't bite cos you are probably not old enough to remember Stuart Macgill and Brad Hogg in their prime. Australia have a great tradition of spin bowlers going all the way back to Benaud, Grimmitt and O'Rielly. This is a rare generation that lacks a quality wristy. Hopefully Cam Boyce continues his improvement at Queensland and we can right that. Smith is not the answer but that doesn't mean the end of the world. (Lyon is also becoming a seriously good offie, TMO for now)

Posted by dsig3 on (September 12, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

He has a unorthodox technique, but his biggest problem is confidence. The selectors have not done him any favours by expecting him to be the next warne and focus on his bowling. He started as a part timer after all that picked up a couple of wickets.

Posted by reddawn1975 on (September 12, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

Yeah Steve i think you have been a very lucky lad to get on the field for any format of the game for Australia its not as if you haven't played enough games your just not that good.As for comments on Australia's batting depth there are plenty of great batsman in the state teams the selectors need to open there eyes and pick them or they should be given the chop.

Posted by kickittome70 on (September 12, 2012, 13:14 GMT)

I cannot see this otherwise talented player being a top 6 international test batsman. He was terrible against England, making no impact at all in the first innings, when it was crucial that he stood up. He consistently failed when batting in the first innings. What this tells me is that he doesnt know his game and how to approach it. When coming out in the second innings, a batmans path is clear, defend or attack. But in the first, you need to have a grasp of what to do as an individual relying solely on your own compass. He did appear to lack that presence. Steve Waugh never lacked this, and comparisons with him should cease. But he is a brilliant fielder, a handy limited overs bowlers and can bat a bit. He would be the perfect perrenial 12th man for Australia, al'a Roger Harper. I can only wish him luck but guys like Maxwell and especially James Faulkner must be given considration well in advance of Smith who has already be given a decent opportunity and not really snatched it.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 12, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

Smith is still relatively young but he just doesn't strike me as someone who has the capacity to become a genuine Test cricketer. Maybe an effective limited-overs bits-and-pieces player but not a proper batsman or bowler. That said, the way England having been dropping catches lately, maybe we'll take him just as a specialist fielder.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

In all honesty, I believe Steve Smith would make the worlds best no 12. Because he's one of the best fielders around.

Posted by nthuq on (September 12, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

@Ryansmith, if that were the case, I would indeed be very happy. He had a decent time against the England Lions and was unlucky to not get picked ahead of White. Surely he'll get a go now in the warm up games. To be entirely honest, there isn't much batting talent right now in Australia, so if he clicks over the next few months in the domestic scene that would be excellent.

Posted by Okakaboka on (September 12, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

@Gillyforever......ummmm.....because Maxwell is a better batsman, better bowler AND even a (slightly) better fielder. Full Stop, goodbye...the end!!

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

It is good that Steve Smith "declared" that he is a batsman, for looking at him, no one would have guessed it.. LOL. Wait, I know why he did that.. Australian batting these days is so thin, once you get past the top 3, it is difficult to distinguish between the middle order and the tail from their contributions (single digits). So, EVEN Smith has a chance to make it into this line up, with his "bits and pieces" cricketer image. Add to the fact that Australians have never had a half decent spinner before or after the legendary Shane Warne, so Smith initially thought that merely by imitating Warnie's action he can get himself into the team..LOL.. What a sad time for Australian cricket!

Posted by Biggus on (September 12, 2012, 11:31 GMT)

Oh ok, Steve. I declare myself the Maharajah of Wagga Wagga then if that's all that's required. I feel better already.@RyanSmith-Happy to be proven wrong mate as that could only be good for us. I do, however, refuse to hold my breath.

Posted by Hammond on (September 12, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

@RyanSmith- difference between the two Steves is that Waugh actually learnt correct batting technique and grew his cricket on solid foundations. These young blokes all slog across the line- their techniques are built on sand and they are never going anywhere. Numerous other young Aussie batsman (cue Usman and Hughes) are in the same frame.

Posted by RyanSmith on (September 12, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

It seems to be popular for people to criticize Smith. I don't know if any of these people who do so, remember a young Steve Waugh starting out in international cricket. Waugh is now considered one of the true greats of the game. I think Smith has the potential to go the same way as Waugh, who was a great fielder and someone whose role wasn't really defined when he started out. He batted a bit and bowled a bit but didn't do much of either when he was introduced into the test team. He seemed to do better in the shorter format initially and it took him something like 30 tests before he hit his first test hundred. Just give Smith some time to work out his game. He seems to have worked out now what he needs to do to make it. This focus will be good for him. I still believe the guy can do great things for Australia and could be a future captain.

Posted by kensohatter on (September 12, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

Sorry Steve Smith I think your days in a baggy green are done. Be thankful you even got a crack as if you were born 10yrs earlier you wouldnt have even got a look in. He would need to have a least two decent shield seasons to press claims again and by then he is not seen as a long term option. 20/20 is still a viable option where like cameron white he can still provide something

Posted by Dashgar on (September 12, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

Already he's a long way behind Glenn Maxwell who is just as good in the field and far more destructive with the bat. Smith needs to work on his technique big time to make the side as a specialist batsman because he isn't powerful enough to be as good as Warner or White. I'm not saying he's hopeless, he's still a very young player, but there's a long way to go before he'll be ready to play internationals

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 10:22 GMT)

Dubbed as the next Shane Warne because he is a leg spinner, so was Cameron White but he is now increasingly a batsman. Warney was a once in a lifetime bowler never to be produced again.

Posted by Hammond on (September 12, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

Steven Smith is just like every other young Australian batsman, front foot dominant, early back lift, plays across the line, hopeless against both the moving and the turning delivery and susceptible to lbw because he shuffles in front of his stumps nearly every ball. Fine for having a slap on a Saturday arvo at Trumper Park, but no good against even average international attacks.

Posted by Mervo on (September 12, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

Best find a batting technique first. One that papers over the days where a good eye, is not enough. I really can't see it. I would have though that his future lay in leg spin, but that takes a lot of hard work and a good coach. I am not sure he has either.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

What a waste of a baggy green!

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

Cant bat. Cant bowl. CAN feild. But seriously how many chances does a guy get? If Brad Hodge had this many chances he would have 5000 test runs by now. Its rediculus.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

It's not like anyone defined him as a bowler anyways... wait, I don't define him even as a batsman :P

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

I thought he is just a fielder

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (September 12, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

From what little i have seen of him in the ashes, he doesn't look like a test batsman, good luck to him though, but there are many other batsman ahead of him in the pecking order. Even in the ODI series in England couple of months back he looked out of his depth He would be a very handy 20 20 player though.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

I honestly don't understand why this guy is sitting on the bench (for atleast T20). You have players like cameron white who have not performed for god knows how long yet steve smith is an excellent all-rounder, esp his fielding but his not getting a chance.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (September 12, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

The question remains why the selectors chose Glenn Maxwell ahead of Steve Smith for the T20 World Cup, given what an incredible vein of form Smith is in.

Posted by Heisenburg on (September 12, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

Good to see him focus on what he's best at, but he will have to be a pretty damn good batsman to play internationally again.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
Country Fixtures Country Results
Hurricanes v Syd Sixers at Hobart
Dec 23, 2014 (19:10 local | 08:10 GMT | 03:10 EST | 02:10 CST | 00:10 PST)
3rd Test: Australia v India at Melbourne
Dec 26-30, 2014 (10:30 local | 23:30 GMT | 18:30 EST | 17:30 CST | 15:30 PST)
Scorchers v Melb Reneg at Perth
Dec 26, 2014 (16:10 local | 08:10 GMT | 03:10 EST | 02:10 CST | 00:10 PST)
Syd Thunder v Syd Sixers at Sydney
Dec 27, 2014 (19:10 local | 08:10 GMT | 03:10 EST | 02:10 CST | 00:10 PST)
Heat v Melb Stars at Brisbane
Dec 28, 2014 (18:10 local | 08:10 GMT | 03:10 EST | 02:10 CST | 00:10 PST)
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