Australia captain Steve Smith has been doing wonders in the longest format of cricket for quite some time now, but during the last Ashes series Down Under, the 28-year-old has taken his game to a different level altogether. Smith has amassed 687 runs in 7 innings at an incredible average of 137.40, including three centuries and two fifties in Ashes 2017-18, that the Aussies won by 4-0.
Smith, who has scored 1754 runs at an average of 67.46 across all international formats in last one year, was also named ICC Test Cricketer of the Year last month. He is all set for another testing series as Australia are scheduled to tour South Africa for a four-match Test series from March 1.
Ahead of the South Africa Tests, Smith spoke to cricket.com.au wherein he opened up about different facets about his batting. The Aussie skipper revealed how he adopted Virat Kolhi's wristy bottom-handed game in his arsenal and it turned out to be fruitful for him.
"I open my hands up a little bit," Smith said in a candid chat with cricket.com.au.
"I don't feel that I can get nicked off quite as easily in India as opposed to somewhere like Australia or South Africa. So I open up different parts of the ground.
"I just try and learn, and these guys [Kohli, Williamson] are the best players in the world for a reason. I look at some of the best players around the world and sometimes I do try and bat like them," he added.
The Australian captain implemented this technique during Australia’s tour of India last year. The right-hander had scored 499 runs at an average of 71.28 in Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2017.
"I actually forgot how I like to hold the bat when I'm in Australia the last time I came back, so it might work for a while but it takes a bit of getting used to. It all seems worth though, given how rare recent runs in the dustbowls of Asia have been for an Aussie,” he quips.
The New South Wales-born Smith is the only batsman in contemporary cricket to average over 60 in Test cricket. His batting average of 63.75 is second only to Bradman in terms of batsmen with at least 20 Test innings. As far as Smith’s overall Test numbers are concerned – the Australian captain has amassed 6057 Test runs in 60 matches, including 23 tons and as many fifties.