Steve Smith is letting his bat do the talking as the campaign to insert him at the top of the Australian T20 batting line-up continues to gather huge momentum. Smith's brisk half-century in the Sixers' easy win over the Hobart Hurricanes on Monday night took his BBL run tally to 328 runs at an eye-watering average of 105.
Watching the 33-year-old in such imperious form has made a mockery of the decision to largely ignore him during Australia's disastrous T20 World Cup campaign last year. The hosts' top order batting never really got going as Smith spent most of his time running drinks and towels to teammates in the middle.
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After being used at an opener by the Sixers and slamming back-to-back centuries followed by a quickfire fifty – clobbering 24 sixes in just four games – selectors surely won't make the same mistake when Australia's T20 commitments re-start in August.
Smith is staying out of the debate for now but his New Balance blade is doing the bidding for him. "I’m just enjoying playing at the moment (and) I enjoy batting up the top, it’s been good fun," he said after posting his fastest-ever T20 half-century in Hobart.
"I don't think we have any T20 internationals for some time, (so) we'll wait and see where things land, but it’s been good fun for the time being."
Steve Smith loving the freedom of opening for Sixers
Asked about opening the innings, Smith replied: "It’s a different role being up the top. It’s a completely different place to bat, but it’s a place I think that suits me.
"I think I hit unique parts of the ground when there's two out. Most players like batting up the top and I’ve been given this opportunity and it’s been good fun."
"(I like) having the freedom to just go out and play, which is how I want to play and set the team up.”
Former Australia wicket-keeper Brad Haddin thinks it's a no-brainer Smith will not only return to the T20 side at the top of the order but also kick on to the 2024 World Cup in the West Indies.
He said: "I don’t think you cannot use someone in this sort of form. I think he’ll suit the top of the order.
"He's only 33, he’s got another World Cup in him in the 20 overs (game), so why not?
"Steve Smith's one of the best - if not the best - in the world on slow wickets and that’s what the West Indies (pitches) are going to be. In this sort of form, no doubt he'll be at the top of the order."
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