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Under-pressure Steve Smith feels his batting can help Australia in T20 World Cup

Former captain says working the ball around and running hard between wickets offers value on big Australian grounds.

After being left out for Australia’s first T20I against West Indies, Steve Smith has said that he still has plenty to offer the team in the T20 World Cup with his batting style of working the ball around on big Australian grounds and running hard between the wickets.

Smith, the former Australia captain, had a disappointing T20I series in India last month, with only 52 runs in three games at a strike-rate of 133.33 in a high-scoring contest, even as all-rounder Cameron Green impressed with twin fifties at a strike-rate of 214.54. Both big hitters Green and Tim David formed part of Australia’s top six against West Indies on Wednesday, even as there are calls from former players to get Green into the T20 World Cup squad ahead of Smith.

Smith acknowledged the depth and variety available in Australia’s squad, but added that his own mindset had also become more aggressive from the time he was essaying a primarily recovery role in case of a top-order collapse.

“Just having that more attacking mindset rather than when I was playing that kind of (recovery) role, I was probably in a more defensive frame of mind and almost trying to bat through without taking the game on as much,” Smith said in Brisbane.

“But just having the license to go out and just play the way I want to play, and the situation that’s in front of me, I think that’s the way I play best.”

Smith admitted that he lacked the power game some of his team-mates possessed but said that particularly on large Australian outfields, he could add value with his brand of timing the ball into the gaps.

“For me, I’m not as strong and powerful as some of the other guys. But some wickets entail just good smarts and punching the ball and timing the ball really well, particularly in Australia with big grounds, running hard between the wickets, that kind of thing,” Smith said.

READ  Big hits alone wouldn’t decide this T20 World Cup; Sachin Tendulkar details the science of running between wickets in Australia

Australia play another T20I against West Indies on Friday in Brisbane, before three games against England in Perth and Canberra followed by a T20 World Cup warm-up clash against India at the Gabba.

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