“I played with COVID” – Steve Smith on Australia’s T20 World Cup fixture against Afghanistan
Australia’s star batsman Steve Smith has revealed that he played with COVID-19 in their final T20 World Cup 2022 group match against Afghanistan in Adelaide. The right-handed batsman made the revelation while talking about a tweak in his technique that has enabled him to score heavily across formats.
The past three months have turned out remarkably for the 33-year-old, starting with the ODI series against England in November when he exclaimed ‘I’m back baby’ during his 78-ball 80 in the first ODI.
He scored two centuries during the Test summer and smashed back-to-back tons in the Big Bash League (BBL) for the Sydney Sixers.
Speaking after winning his fourth Allan Border Medal, Smith recalled being at his best during the 2015 summer against India and said he had always tried to get that touch back. While the right-hander seemed to have found a breakthrough ahead of the T20 World Cup match against Afghanistan, COVID-19 interrupted his progress.
As quoted by The Age, he said:
“I’ve been looking at footage for as long as you wouldn’t believe, just from innings mainly in 2015. I think that was when I batted my best in the India series at home and throughout that World Cup and that’s my blueprint that I always go back to, to try to figure out what I’m doing there. I finally got there. I was in the nets. I think I might have been in Adelaide just before the T20 match against Afghanistan. “I felt like I got something and then I got COVID. I played that game with COVID and I didn’t really get a chance to get in the middle of kind of implementing it. And then the next game I played was against England and that game I think, I got 80 not out. And yes, it was just the first time I put it all into practice in the middle and it just clicked for me.”
The former captain’s role is crucial in what will be a critical year for Australia, with a Test tour to India, an away Ashes series followed by the 50-over World Cup. Smith was the highest run-getter on either side when Australia last played a Test series in India and England.
“I think some subcontinent wickets suit the style of play I have.” – Steve Smith Steve Smith has 30 test tons. (Credit: Getty)
Ahead of the India tour next month, Smith said he enjoyed playing in the sub-continent and wanted to pass on his knowledge to the youngsters to ensure Australia’s success. He added:
“I think some sub-continent wickets suit the style of play that I have. I really enjoy playing on those spins there, so much fun and there’s always something going on. But you know, if they’re not the spinners and they’re a little bit flatter there, the ones where you can really apply and you have to make big, big scores. I think that’s definitely one thing I’ll tell the boys when we get there.”
The first Test against India starts on February 9 in Nagpur.
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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava