Australian batting mainstay Steve Smith isn’t having a good time this cricketing summer. 10 runs in four innings including a duck – that describes his batting woes against India in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Smith recently bagged the ICC Test Player of the Decade award for his excellence in the longest format of the game in last 10 years. But he did not end the decade on the right note. His string of low scores allowed the touring Indian team to put pressure on the Australian batting line-up.
The former captain was among runs in the limited-overs series but couldn’t on the momentum in the Test series. However, Australian head coach Justin Langer has backed Smith and warned the visitors that great players do not miss out on scoring for a long period.
“Imagine how good we will be when he does start batting — that’s how I look at it. He hasn’t had the best of series so far. He will be the first to admit that. My gosh, what I know about great players, the longer they miss out, the sooner they are coming good again,” Langer said during a virtual press conference.
“That puts a big smile on my face. How do you coach Steve? I don’t coach Steve Smith. Steve Smith coaches himself and I am sure he is going to work it out,” he added.
Expressing his excitement, Langer stated that he can’t wait to watch Smith bat as long as he is coaching the team.
“He is a great player and I can’t wait to watch him bat this Test match and the next Test match and, hopefully, for as long as I am coach,” said Langer.
Smith’s struggle against an off-spinner became obvious after Ravichandran Ashwin got the better of him twice in the two matches. The Aussie batter admitted that he allowed the spinner to dictate terms in their battle.
The third Test is scheduled to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 7.