Cricket

Someone in the top-four should make a big score, says Smith

Confident: Steve Smith, seen with Brett Lee, left, and Mark Waugh, right, says the Australian top order has the ability to fire and score big.

Confident: Steve Smith, seen with Brett Lee, left, and Mark Waugh, right, says the Australian top order has the ability to fire and score big.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Chennai: With Australia losing opener Aaron Finch and Travis Head being promoted to the No. 4 slot, Steve Smith is acutely aware of his responsibility in shouldering the batting.

With the recent spate of high-scoring games, Smith said: “I think it’s important for someone in the top-four to go on for us and make a big score. I think we have the guys to do that. It’s important in this country, in any country, in one-day cricket that someone in the top-four makes a big score and sets the team up.”

Smith recalled the huge scores seen in 2013, saying: “We saw that the last time we came here in 2013 it was a run-fest where 350 was around par. If the wickets are the same, you need someone in the top-four to make a really big score.”

With the spinners expected to play a crucial role, the Australians roped in a local chinaman bowler K.K. Jiyas, who hails from Kerala and was part of the Delhi Daredevils squad, to bowl in the nets to prepare for the Kuldeep Yadav challenge.

Speaking about it, Smith said, “he is a guy Sri (S. Sriram) has organised to come down and have a bowl. They have got Kuldeep Yadav in their squad and probably is likely to play. There aren’t too many around the world, they’re different, so it’s good to be able to get someone who bowls a bit of that.”

Yadav tormented the Aussies in the final Test in Dharamsala earlier this year and Smith said they would like to put him under pressure early on.

“A few of the guys have played against him in the IPL and saw what he did in Sri Lanka as well. He’s someone who you have to watch really closely. Hopefully, we can put him under pressure early in his spell and try and take him for as many as we can.”

While the spinners have been finding it difficult in the shorter format, the Australian captain expects them to play a crucial role, especially in the middle overs.

“I think it could play a part, particularly in the middle overs, just to change things up and take the pace off the ball. Spin has always played a pretty big part in ODIs, particularly in these conditions. I’d say it’ll play a reasonable part throughout this series too.”

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 8:09:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/someone-in-the-top-four-should-make-a-big-score-says-smith/article19698838.ece

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