Steve Smith has said that he is not the anchor in the Australian T20 team anymore and the Australian team management has asked him to go out there and just express himself, without worrying about holding the innings together which has been his role in the past.
Smith is a part of the playing XI that Australia has named for the first T20 international against Sri Lanka which will take place in Colombo later today.
The former Kangaroo skipper has batted at no. 3 for Australia in T20 cricket for a long time, but ahead of the T20 World Cup last year, he was pushed down to no. 5, as Australia wanted attackers upfront and Smith to anchor the innings if they lost early wickets.
Steve Smith will continue to bat at no. 5 for Australia in the series against Sri Lanka
In the playing XI that has been announced for the first T20I against Sri Lanka, Steve Smith is again slotted at no. 5, but in a conversation with cricket.com.au, Smith said that the management has clearly conveyed to him that they don’t expect him to anchor the innings anymore and if he wants to smash the first ball out of the ground, he can do that.
Steve Smith reckons his new role will free him up a little bit, as he will be able to bat with the right kind of mindset required for T20 cricket. According to Smith, trying to anchor the innings with the sole intention of not getting dismissed is not quite the right mindset for the shortest format of the game.
At the moment, there are question marks over Smith’s place in the Australian T20I team with the emergence of big hitters like Tim David, who although currently plays for Singapore, is eligible to play for Australia as well.
Smith’s performance in the Sri Lanka series will go a long way in determining his position in Australia’s scheme of things for the upcoming T20 World Cup, which they will play at home.