BBL: Smith loving life at the top in T20s as SCG nears sell out

Australia ace Steve Smith is enjoying his new spot at the top of the Sixer’s batting order, but he isn’t ready to proclaim himself David Warner’s new opening partner just yet. The duo will square off in the second Sydney Smash of the season tomorrow night at the SCG, which is expected to be sold out, with just 3000 tickets left on Friday evening.

Smith lights up Coffs with sublime BBL ton

BBL Smith loving life at the top in T20s as SCG nears sell out-1

Also Read: BBL: Finch guides ‘Renegades back into finals, ends Strikers’ season in Big Bash 2023, Match 54

With Australia T20 captain Aaron Finch’s future unknown after his one-day international retirement in September, Smith’s success at the top of the order in his two KFC BBL|12 appearances thus far has many wondering whether he has finally found his position in the shortest format. Warner has already suggested that the next T20 World Cup in the United States and the Caribbean in mid-2024 would be the ideal end to his international career.

Also Read: BBL: Super Smith stars again as Sixers topple Canes in Big Bash 2023, Match 53

Smith, on the other hand, is less confident of his T20 future after being left out of Australia’s team for all but one game at last year’s World Cup on home soil, with the nation’s next T20 international not planned until September in South Africa. I’m just going out there and playing and trying my best, and I suppose we’ll see what the future holds,” he told reporters on Friday. “There’s a long time till the next T20 international anyhow, so I’m very relaxed just playing and having fun.

Also Read: BBL, Scorchers hang on to secure Home Final over Renegades in Big Bash 2023, Match 52

According to Opta statistics, Smith’s most dangerous position in T20s is opening, where he strikes at 149 from seven innings, substantially higher than his lifetime strike rate of 126. It’s also his greatest hitting position by average (minimum 100 balls faced) at 43.28, although his most productive slot in the order has been No. 3 where he’s scored 2151 runs at 35.85. Aside from the Sixers this season, Smith has previously opened in the Indian Premier League for Delhi Capitals in 2021 (39 runs in a single inning) and Rajasthan Royals in 2020 (127 runs in four innings).

Also Read: BBL: Heat win thriller over Stars by 4 Runs in Big Bash 2023, Match 51

“I enjoy being up top; who wouldn’t want to open in T20 cricket?” he asked. “It offers you a chance to play the ball as you see it early on, get yourself in, and then as the fielders go out, you’re in and ready to play your strokes. “It’s been a lot of fun, and maybe we’ll have some more success tomorrow night,” Smith said he hadn’t considered starting with Warner, but the two had batted together numerous times previously and knew one other’s game inside and out.

Also Read: BBL: Steve Smith hammers back-to-back tons as Sixers smash Thunder in Big Bash 2023, Match 50

“I’m not reading too much into it; I’m loving it right now batting up top, so we’ll see,” he added. Smith, who announced a three-game county spell with Sussex in May ahead of this year’s Ashes, is nursing a bruised leg ahead of the Sixers’ game against the Thunder tomorrow night after some friendly fire during training. The 33-year-old admitted to inside-edging the ball into himself “trying to slap it” three times in the previous week – twice in the nets and once against the Strikers’ Wes Agar in Coffs Harbour last Tuesday.

Also Read:  Brisbane heat won by 12 runs over hurricanes in Big Bash 2023, Match 49

“I’ve always had joy playing in the Big Bash with the Sixers; it’s a fantastic franchise to be a part of, and I’ve been here from day one, so it’s a nice atmosphere (this season),” Smith said. It’s not about me or him (Warner), it’s about the two teams going up against one other (tomorrow night), and there’s always been that crosstown rivalry, so it should be a fantastic night. Meanwhile, Warner says he wants to play the first weekend of the BBL|12 playoffs if the Thunder qualify, and a victory tomorrow night would go a long way toward guaranteeing that.

Also Read: BBL: Scorchers Beat Strikers By 7 Wickets in Big Bash 2023, Match 48

However, all players picked for the four-Test Border-Gavaskar series in India next month will be unavailable for The Challenger and Final, with the Australian team slated to travel on January 31. Saturday’s Sydney Smash starts at 7.05pm (AEDT) and will be televised live on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports. Kayo provides a free trial for new members, which you can sign up for here.

Also Read: BBL: Thunders Won by 8 wickets over Renegades in Big Bash 2023, Match 47


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *