Steve Smith ready for ODI battle in South Africa – Steven Smith is apparently refreshed and ready to face the upcoming One-Day International series in South Africa. The Australian captain had controversially left the tour of Sri Lanka early and is now back from a “good break”.
Australia flew down to Johannesberg on Wednesday 21st September, to face South Africa and Ireland in six ODIs to played in South Africa. Alongside Australia head coach Darren Lehmann, Smith said in a press conference that he was excited about playing international cricket again after being sent home post Australia’s second ODI against Sri Lanka recently. This decision to send Smith home halfway, had sparked criticism from some quarters of Australian cricket.
“I’ve had a good break,” Smith said. “I had a hit two days before we left (Australia), I actually got my old man to feed me some balls for the first time in about eight years. So it was a good thrill for him, and I hadn’t lost it.
“I felt like I hit the ball really well, and we’ve got a week here (in Johannesburg) to prepare and I’ll get some good time in the nets over this week and then be ready to go for the first game,” he added.
Over the years, Team Australia has enjoyed more success in South Africa than in the subcontinent. Smith attributed this observation to a familiarity of conditions. “I’d say they are the most similar (conditions) you are going to get, so it’s not so foreign in a way,” Smith said. “It’s a great place to play cricket, the wickets have some good pace and bounce and that’s how we like to play on those kind of wickets.
“It’s exciting for one-day cricket to have those kinds of wickets, with generally quite big scores,” he said. “So I’m sure things will be a little bit different from what we saw in Sri Lanka in regards to the amount of runs that are going to be scored in this series.”
Australia has a host of fresh faces, including debutante pacers Daniel Worrall, Joe Mennie and Chris Tremain. Coach Lehmann believed the tour would be an opportunity for new stars to emerge.
“Someone gets to make a name for themselves in a high-quality series,” Lehmann said. “We’ve got some good young fast bowlers, we’ll only know (how they’ll handle it) at the end of the series against a quality side.
Australia’s opening match of the tour will be against Ireland at Benoni next Tuesday, with the first battle against South Africa scheduled for Centurion on September 30