The former Australian leg spinner Shane Warne has left out Steve Smith from his preferred playing XI for Australia’s first game in the T20 World Cup in the UAE.
Shane Warne wants Australia to go with the young right-hander Josh Inglis who is still uncapped at the international level. Inglis has made a name for himself in a couple of white-ball leagues around the world, notably in the Hundred competition in England, but for the Australian team management, it will be a huge call to prefer Inglis to Steve Smith.
Steve Smith might not be a power hitter or someone who can score runs at a brisk pace all the time, but he is still a very skillful batsman in all formats of the game, and skillful batting might be needed in this T20 World Cup on the used pitches in the latter stages of the tournament.
Steve Smith can be the anchor in the Australian batting line-up
Most of the other players that Australia have at the top of the order, whether it’s the openers David Warner and Aaron Finch or the middle order batsmen Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell, they all are power hitters and for them to go about their job freely at one end, there needs to be someone at the other end holding the innings together and Steve Smith can be that player.
Steve Smith was a part of the Delhi Capitals squad in the recent sec ond leg of IPL 2021, but he didn’t get too many playing opportunities there. He played a couple of games, but those were on some very difficult pitches of Sharjah.
Also, Delhi Capitals had a very different set-up. They already had an anchor at no. 3 in Shreyas Iyer, and they wanted to play power hitters around him. But, in the Australian set-up, there might be a place for Smith.
Shane Warne, however, doesn’t think so. Here is Warne’s playing XI that he named on Twitter –
Christian/Agar (depending on conditions)
Ellis/Richardson/Hazlewood (depending on conditions)
What would your Oz team be and who’s winning ?
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) October 18, 2021