‘I like it up top’

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Australia batter Steve Smith has expressed his desire to play the T20 format of cricket as an opener as he feels confident in that position in terms of expressing himself. Smith has taken BBL12 by storm courtsey of his match-winning century versus Adelaide Strikers.

While batting first Smith helped Sixers scale the 200-run mark. Smith scored 101 runs off 56 balls, including five fours and seven sixes at a strike rate of 180.35. He looked settled in the middle and it was his knock that provided Sixers the impetus it needed.

Like it up top: Steve Smith rearing to shine in T20s

“I like it up top, who wouldn’t want to open in T20 cricket?”, Smith was quoted as saying. “Two men out, it gives yourself a chance to just play the ball as you see it early on. And then once the fielders go out you’ve got yourself in and have the chance to play your shots. It’s a place I enjoy batting. I did it a couple of times in the IPL and went okay.” 

Smith has a liking when it comes to batting at the top of the order in T20 because of the freedom it brings with itself and the fielding restrictions.

The 33-year-old was left out of Australia’s team for the majority of their home T20 World Cup last year. He featured in the middle order in only the final group game against Afghanistan and could only score four runs.

His response on return to T20 cricket in the BBL has been emphatic, with an impressive 36 off 27 balls for Sydney Sixers on a difficult SCG wicket last Sunday (January 15) before a 56-ball century against Strikers in Coffs Harbour on January 17, 2023.

Though arguably Australia’s finest batter of the modern era, Smith’s only on-field role was of a substitute during the T20 World Cup 2022, with selectors opting for the hard-hitting but inexperienced Tim David in the middle order.

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