Leading Australian cricketers resumed training this Monday (June 1) at the Sydney Olympic Park after a lengthy hiatus due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the players who reported for bio-secure training as part of the build-up towards cricket's resumption in the near future, Steve Smith was pleased to go through the drills again and felt happy with his fitness having done a lot of work on his physical and mental make-up during the lockdown.
The likes of David Warner, Mitchell Starc were also there, as restrictions begin to be lifted down under, where there have been little over 7000 positive cases reported so far.
"I’m probably in the best shape I’ve been in in years, doing lots of running, lots of gym stuff at home. It’s been a couple of months of good hard work," Smith was quoted as saying by the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.
Australia's international season is set to resume on August 9 with an ODI series at home against Zimbabwe, as per the schedule announced by Cricket Australia (CA) last week.
For someone who absolutely loves batting, Smith said he didn't touch his bat much during the last two months of lockdown and focussed more on his fitness.
"I haven’t touched a bat, really. A couple of little drills at home but that’s about it. I’ve just tried to switch off from it a bit, which I don’t do very often. I was just focusing on getting myself fit and strong and refreshing mentally," he said.
“I’ve done a few master classes at home (with fans online) … but other than that I really haven’t picked up a cricket bat."
"It’s been a bit different but I’m sure in the long run it will probably be a good thing to freshen up after a pretty long year and a half since the World Cup and Ashes," Smith added.
The health crisis has resulted in game's indefinite suspension all over the world and also financially impacted Cricket Australia (CA).
The governing body was forced to announce 80 per cent lay off for all its staff until the end of June and is hoping for lucrative India series later in the year to not be affected.
The deadly outbreak could make CA take further cost-cutting measures by possibly down-sizing the national team's support staff, something Smith is wary of.
"They all have a role to play, particularly as the game has evolved and got more professional. We’ve got people in different areas of expertise to help the team prepare and get ready to play. If that happens it will take some adjusting," he said.
"If that’s the case, it’ll be about guys being able to help each other out as well, particularly senior players being able to take a bit of time off your own game and help someone else out at training or something like that."
(Inputs from PTI)