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Sports


'It's not crash hot' – Steve Smith wants to improve as a T20I batsman

Canberra, Nov 6 (UNI) Australia batsman Steve Smith, who guided his side to a
seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in the second Twenty20 International on
Tuesday, with an unbeaten 80, is determined to better his record in the shortest
format of the game.
After the first T20I was washed out in Sydney, the hosts convincingly chased
down 151 in the second game in Canberra with nine balls to spare and took a
1-0 lead in the three-match series. Smith was the architect of Australia's chase
as he raced to his fourth fifty in T20Is, and finished on a 51-ball 80 not out, a
knock that included 11 hits to the fence and one over it.
Smith is one of the best batsmen in the world, particularly in Tests, but his record
in T20Is doesn't match his exploits in other formats. He averages just 27.48 in 35
matches, but that can be attributed to the fact that he initially was a leg-spinner
and batted lower down the order. In fact, after his move up the order in late 2015,
Smith averages 48.57 at No.3, an ICC report on Wednesday said.
"If you look at my batting record in T20 internationals, it's not crash hot," Smith
said. "I guess you have to bear in mind ... (early in my career) I was batting No.8
or 9, coming in and slogging, facing half a dozen balls tops. It's never easy, so it's
going to affect your record at some point."
"I don't doubt my ability. I know the tempos of the game. I've played a lot of T20
cricket now. I may not be as strong as some of the other guys, but I use placement
and timing," he said.
Nicknamed 'Mr. Fix it' in the Australian side, the 30-year-old takes his problem-solving
role very seriously.
"If you're chasing, you weigh up the situation and what you need and what rate you
need to go at, which bowlers you want to target and just work out the math in your
head, and that's chasing," Smith explained.
"Batting first you have to sum up conditions, and how the wicket is playing, what you
think a good score is, and who is in the opposition ... all those sorts of things. I've played
a lot of cricket now, I'm pretty experienced, and my role in this team is to fix it if the top
don't come off."
Smith's team-mates know his value. Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, who witnessed
Smith's innings in Canberra from the dug-out, was in awe of him.
"Consistently, guys are turning to each other going, 'how the hell does he do that?
How does he play that shot?'," Agar told media channel. "He's totally obsessed with
batting and people call him crazy or special or whatever it may be, but he gets the
job done every single time and that's when you're a great player."
Australia and Pakistan play the third and final T20I on Friday in Perth.
UNI XC-BM
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