Australia captain Steven Smith has confirmed that he will move down from number three to number four on the batting order during the upcoming series against New Zealand.
Joe Burns is expected to open to the batting with David Warner as Chris Rogers retired from international cricket at the end of the Ashes series, while Usman Khawaja is set to replace Smith as the Baggy Greens’ number three batsman.
“I think breaking the more experienced players up a little bit in the order [is the right thing to do],” Smith told the Daily Telegraph. “If there’s a run of wickets hopefully I can stop it. I think a lot of the players that are coming through at the moment are top-order players. It’s just the way I see it at the moment. Breaking it up between Davey and myself and hopefully the guys at the top and No.3 do well and then I can just come in and get some runs on the board as well.”
However, should Khawaja struggle at the number three spot, Smith revealed that he has no problems moving back up to the position where he has enjoyed a lot of success thus far.
“I think it would probably be more if it doesn’t work out for certain players [that I would change back],” Smith said. “If it didn’t work out and I saw it fit to go to three, that’s no drama as well. I really don’t see a big difference between three and four playing wise.”
The series against New Zealand will be Smith’s first as Australia’a full-time captain and the 26-year-old is hoping to replicate his success last summer, where he captained Australia in three of the four Tests against India and led them to a 2-0 series win.
“One of my philosophies is to make sure I am leading from the front,” Smith said. “So hopefully I can do that this summer and a summer with the bat like the last one would be nice, so we’ll see how it goes.”