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  5. 'Only reason I went down to No 4 was...': Smith reveals why he told selectors that he wanted to open in Tests

'Only reason I went down to No 4 was...': Smith reveals why he told selectors that he wanted to open in Tests

Steve Smith is set to reinvent himself as a Test batter by moving up to the top of the order in Test cricket. The first assignment for him as a Test opener will be relatively easier against the inexperienced West Indies side and Smith is looking forward to it as mentioned that he wanted to do it.

Anshul Gupta Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: January 15, 2024 6:30 IST
Steve Smith will be opening the innings for the first time
Image Source : GETTY Steve Smith will be opening the innings for the first time in Test cricket as Australia take on West Indies in a couple of days

After scoring 9,514 runs at an average of 58, Steve Smith isn't content with the returns and his batting position as the 34-year-old decided to move up to the top of the order in Test cricket. Smith, who as per his standards had a quiet series against Pakistan with just one fifty in six innings, revealed that he has been in selectors' ears knowing that David Warner was going to finish in Sydney last week about him opening the innings and also admitted that since he is not the captain anymore, he can come to bat straight away without any baggage or pressure.

Speaking to the reporters at the Adelaide Oval ahead of the first Test against West Indies starting Wednesday, January 7, Smith said that he dropped to No.4 from No.3 just because he wanted to have some time before going into nat after his mind was constantly at work being the captain earlier. "Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. The opportunity to get in there and face the new ball - I said the other night on air that it's something that really isn't foreign to me. I have batted on numerous occasions when I have come in early doors and batted at No.3 for quite a while there," he said. 

"Really, the only reason I went down to No.4 was because I was captain, I wanted to give myself some more time to just refresh mentally after thinking so much in the field before going out to bat. I don't have to do that anymore, so perfect to get in early and face the music," Smith added.

Smith further said that the management was thinking about getting Cameron Green at the top as Warner's replacement but as an experienced player, he persuaded the selectors to contemplate the idea seriously which he first pushed in Perth during the first Test, which he thinks that they might have taken it in jest.

"I'd been pushing it for a few weeks, even before Perth, and I might have even floated it in England randomly and said I'm happy to play up top," Smith said. "In Perth I said 'after Davey's done I'm actually keen to get up there' and I don't think they (selectors) took me seriously until I got to Sydney (for the pink Test against Pakistan) and said 'you know I'm actually being genuine here'."

"I'd be keen to get up top and face the new ball and they were like 'we'll take that under advisement and see how it all looks'. They were obviously very keen to get Cameron (Green) in the side as well and play our best six batters, and for me it didn't sit right to have him come in and bat up top. I've played for a long time and I'm an experienced player, and I think it's something I should have done," Smith added.

Australia might be too good for the inexperienced West Indies side which features seven new faces but the New Zealand tour a month later might be the real Test not just for Smith but also the whole batting line-up given the amount of swing in the Kiwi conditions and how good the Black Caps are in their own backyard.

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