'Everything just clicked': Steve Smith's ominous warning to India

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Pictured here, batsman Steve Smith during a net session for Australia.
Steve Smith has revealed the net session breakthrough that could spell bad news for India. Pic: AAP

Steve Smith has revealed the training breakthrough that has him feeling like his old self at the crease for the first time since cricket's COVID break.

In a major warning to India ahead of the summer of cricket, the world's best batsman declared on Tuesday that his game had benefited from his two-week stint in hotel quarantine.

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The 31-year-old will enter this summer off a disappointing IPL season where he averaged 25.91 for Rajasthan.

While he has not played since November 1, the self-confessed cricket tragic said training in quarantine with the smaller group of Australians who played IPL gave him more time in the nets.

He revealed that while batting on Sunday some familiar feelings returned in what was a massive breakthrough for the Aussie star.

"The past few days I have found something ... I have found my hands which I am extremely excited about," Smith said.

"It's taken me about three-and-a-half or four months to do it.

"It's taken a lot longer than usual. I don't know why, whether it was because I didn't bat for four months at the start of COVID."

"I'm actually looking forward to going back to the nets again to reinforce it."

Smith's declaration sounds simple but is crucial.

The former national captain has previously spoken about re-finding his hands before the 2017-18 Ashes, where he hit averaged a Bradman-esque 137.40.

A similar thing happened mid-match in the 2015-16 Perth Test against New Zealand.

He hit a century in the next innings, a crucial match-high 53 in the maiden day-night Test that followed and averaged 214 and 131 in the next two series.

Steve Smith is seen here celebrating during the 2017-18 Ashes series.
The Aussies would love Smith to replicate his Bradman-like figures from the 2017-18 Ashes series. Pic: Getty

‘Simple’ change puts ‘big smile’ on Smith’s face

"Theoretically it is a simple thing," Smith said.

"It's just getting that feel of the bat behind my toe the right way, the way my hands come up the bat, it's hard to explain.

"But it just hasn't quite been right until two days ago. I found a little something and everything just clicked in.

"It changes where you meet the ball, so you hit it in different places. Just slight things and bits of rhythm aren't quite right.

"I had a big smile on my face after training the other day and I walked past (assistant coach) Andrew McDonald and said 'I found them again'."

Smith already shapes as the likely biggest thorn in India's side this summer, beginning with Friday's one-day series opener at the SCG.

He averages 69.41 against them in all formats, and had to watch on two years ago as they became the first team from Asia to win a Test series in Australia.

"In big series I try and stand up and get the best out of myself, whether it be an Ashes or India series," Smith said of his record.

"Whether there is something more inside me that comes out, I'm not sure.

"It also comes down to getting rhythms against bowlers.

"Quite often in the first Test or game of a series against India I have started well and have been able to get in a bit of rhythm."

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