Steve Smith will be happy to bat anywhere in the Australian order if called upon at the T20 World Cup and he might finally have his chance with injury doubts hanging over a number of his teammates.
Captain and opener Aaron Finch, number six Tim David and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis are all questionable, ahead of Australia’s final Super 12 match against Afghanistan on Friday.
Though arguably Australia’s finest batsman of the modern era, Smith’s only on-field role has been as a substitute at this World Cup, with selectors opting for the hard-hitting but inexperienced David in the middle order.
Smith took two catches as a substitute fielder on Monday as Australia beat Ireland by 42 runs at the Gabba to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
While there are heavier hitters in the lineup, Smith feels his game could suit Australian wickets that were “doing quite a bit” in the tournament so far.
“You haven’t seen those really big scores. Guys like Virat (Kohli) in that game at the MCG just batted, and then took it on later on,” Smith told reporters of the India batsman’s match-winning knock against Pakistan.
“That is the way I like to go about things. If things are difficult early, I have played test cricket and one-day cricket so I have got the game to play in those difficult circumstances. The way the tournament has played out so far with the wickets, if you have got someone who is able to bat through a fair chunk of the innings and let the hitters go around them, that has worked pretty well. I certainly feel I can play that role,” he explained.
Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade is set to captain the side if Finch is ruled out, as he did when Finch left the field early during Ireland’s chase.
“I assume Wadey will take the reins, but I’m happy to help in any way I can. I’ve got a lot of experience, vice-captain of the test side and been captain before, so happy to help in any way I can,” said Smith.
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