After David Warner, it was Steve Smith's turn to face the heat of Australia's Test quicks in an intense net session at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
In a bid to gear up for the all-important four-Test series against India, the Australian team management wanted to give its pacers some quality practice against the top batsmen and thus Warner and Smith responded to the call. The much-awaited Border-Gavaskar Trophy starts with the Adelaide Test on December 6.
Smith squared up to Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. The pace troika tested their former captain with some short stuff
Despite having not played a first-class match for more than 8 months, Smith was more than a match for the speedsters. He was seen working through his full repertoire – flicking Starc through the on-side, punching Hazlewood through cover and pulling Cummins to square leg. However, Smith at one point was floored by a Hazlewood bouncer.
Here’s the video:
Just a week ago, Cricket Australia upheld the ball-tampering suspensions on Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft. While Smith and Warner were given 12-month bans, Bancroft was handed a nine-month suspension under CA's Code of Conduct for their roles in the disgraceful ball-tampering plot against South Africa at Newlands in March.
Bancroft's ban is due to expire on December 29 whereas Smith and Warner will not be eligible to return until March 29, 2019.