Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia batsman Steven Smith has announced that he plans to start working on his leg-spin in order to cement himself a place in the country’s World Cup squad.
While Smith has been excelling at the Test level, he has been in and out of Australia’s ODI squad, which is highly ironic since he was classed as a limited overs specialist when his international career first began.
However, Smith is looking to capture the attention of the national selectors with his performance in the upcoming ODI tri-series against Zimbabwe and South Africa.
“I’ve had quite a big focus on getting my batting right,” Smith told cricket.com.au. “I think I’ve done that now and it’s in a position where I’m happy with it, so I am working on my bowling a lot more now, so hopefully when I’m called upon to have a bowl in matches, I’ll make an impact.”
If Smith continues to work on his leg-spin, he could become one of the more threatening players in Australia’s squad, especially given that he has taken 22 ODI wickets at a respectable average of 35.45 in 34 matches thus far.
“I hope (I get a bowl),” Smith said ahead of Australia’s clash against Zimbabwe in Harare. “I’ve been told I need to start working on my bowling more.
“It’s nice if you can play an all-rounder [role] in that aspect, someone who can do a job. So I’m looking forward to hopefully get some overs under my belt. It’s probably more the consistency and knowing where the ball is going more than anything.
“As a leg-spinner, you have to work quite hard at it – it’s probably the hardest style of bowling in the game and it takes a lot of hard work. So I’m going to be putting in the hours over the next few weeks.”
Smith is also hoping to work closely with legendary Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who recently joined Australia’s coaching staff as a spin consultant.
“I think it would be a good experience, to work with one of the best bowlers of all time, and hear some of his ideas and learn from him,” Smith said. “I certainly benefited from when Warnie came over to Cape Town with us for that short stint, and I’d love to work with him again in the future.”