Steve Smith has made sure the selectors aren't thinking about any drastic changes ahead of the World Cup semi-final after an unbeaten knock in Australia's successful run-chase against Bangladesh. Australia finished third in the group stages of the Cricket World Cup having lost to India and South Africa in their opening two games.
Since the setback, Australia went on a seven-match winning run and finished ahead of New Zealand, and avoided the undefeated India, to set-up a semi-final showdown with South Africa. However, the Aussies have been dealt a number of dilemmas throughout the competition.
DISAPPOINTED': Pat Cummins called out as 'worrying' issue emerges
'MISSING OUT': Ricky Ponting's new revelation about Marnus Labuschagne
One problem has been the form of Smith. The mercurial batter had only surpassed 60 once in the tournament as the knockout stages loomed.
Fans have been left worried over his form, but the 34-year-old might have timed his run to perfection having spent time out in the crease during his 63 not out against Bangladesh. While Smith did play the support role for Mitchell Marsh's incredible century, he did contribute with four boundaries and a six as he worked his way into form.
And more importantly Smith spent time against the spinners out in the middle, which has been an issue for him throughout his stay in India at the World Cup. And former Australian allrounder Shane Watson pointed out just how important it was for the team for Smith to find his rhythm.
“It’s been a big confidence builder for Steve Smith, this innings,” Watson said as he watched on in commentary as Smith scored 63 not out. “You can see in his body language as well, he looks a little bit more at ease. He’s a bit more calm, a bit more in control, a bit more in command.”
Steve Smith's struggle against spin at World Cup
Smith's struggles against spin in the middle order has been clear so far in India. His average against spinners at the World Cup, before the Bangladesh clash, was 15.40. This was in huge contrast to his average of 64.00 against quick bowlers.
Normally very strong against spin, Smith has been the target of off-spinners throughout the World Cup. But spending time out in the middle to move his feet will only bode well for Australia.
And it wasn't just Smith getting in on the runs. Marsh continued his brilliance at No.3 having smashed 177 off 132 balls. And adding in the Glenn Maxwell's superb form, a number of Aussies are ready to make history in the semi-final. However, someone will have to make way for Maxwell to return to the line-up having been rested in the final group stage clash.
This could see Marnus Labuschagne fall out of the side to accomodate Maxwell's return. South Africa thrashed Australia by 134 runs in the group stage, which came after they won a five-game series 3-2 in the lead-up to the World Cup.
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.