Smith knows he has to score plenty of runs in order to get the attention of the national team selectors
Over the past couple of years the question of Steve Smith’s role in the Australian side remained a mystery to everyone, but no more after the limited overs specialist stated that he was a batsman and intended to regain his spot on the national roster.
Throughout his international career, Smith has gone through a number of role changes for the Australian team, from a lead leg-spinner to an all-rounder to a top-six batsman, and even coach Mickey Arthur is pleased to see an end to the mystery surrounding Smith’s role in the side.
Since he has declared himself as a top-six batsman, Smith believes his top priority is to score runs and get selected back into the Australian side for the upcoming Test series against South Africa in November.
“Runs is my main priority at the moment, I’m working really hard on my batting, 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,” Smith said.
If Smith were to regain his spot in the Australian side, he wants to move higher up the batting order instead of coming in at sixth.
“I’d like to bat higher [then No. 6], I’m trying to bat as high as I can in this order, 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 (New South Wales). 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,” Smith added.
The New South Wales team started horrendously last summer after suffering an innings defeat to Western Australia, where they were bowled out for just 91 runs and then had to stand around and watch Liam Davis score a triple century.
Smith, who was part of that NSW squad, stated that this summer was going to be different.
“It was a pretty average game for us, a lot of boys sat down together after that game, 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,” Smith said.
Smith is also pleased to see Australia’s captain Michael Clarke join NSW, and said: “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.”