Three years back, Steven Smith toured India as a spinner. But on Thursday, the 23-year-old found a place in the team as a specialist batsman. Smith doesn’t have fond memories of this ground.
“Yeah, I know it was a little different the last time I was here (in 2010 when India won by one wicket). Came on as a 12th man and had three-four overthrows at the end of the game, ended up losing the match. I am a little bit more excited being part of the eleven now,” Smith said.
In three years’ time, Smith has re-invented himself. He was picked for this tour as a backup batsman.
Before the match, the chance of him getting a place in the playing eleven wasn’t bright, but the off-field incident, where four players failed to turn in their homework, and injury to Matthew Wade, opened a slot for him at number five.
More a batsman
“I have always been more of a batsman than I was a bowler. The first two Tests I played were as a specialist bowler. It’s a bit different now to come in at number five… a specialist batter. That’s something I have worked on really hard in the last couple of years,” Smith added.
For Smith, the opportunities of cementing his place in Tests have been few. Dropped following the disastrous Ashes in 2011, Smith said he is ready with a game plan to tackle spin.
“No, I don’t think there is any pressure. It’s just a chance for us to come back. I have been working on a couple of different methods. In the nets, I have played spin a lot over the last couple of weeks. I have been working on different methods and ways to play spin, and, hopefully, the methods I have come up with will be successful in these conditions,” Smith said.