Smith ‘can dom­i­nate all for­mats’

Mercury (Hobart) - - CRICKET -

SCOTT BAI­LEY

STEVE Smith can set his sights on be­ing the world’s best batsman across all three for­mats af­ter show­ing off his Twenty20 class, ac­cord­ing to coach Justin Langer.

Smith has emerged out of the T20 dark­ness in the past week to dom­i­nate the start of the sum­mer for Aus­tralia.

The former cap­tain has piled on 146 runs against Sri Lanka and Pak­istan and been dis­missed just once. His 80 not out in Can­berra on Tues­day night was a knock of wiz­ardry and ar­guably his best T20 in­nings for his coun­try.

“Any­one who questions Steve Smith and any­thing to do with bat­ting puts a smile on your face,” Langer said. “That’s his great­est strength, his abil­ity to solve prob­lems. Whether it is Test cricket or T20 cricket, that’s what he is so good at.

“The best play­ers in the world do it. The best play­ers adapt to white or red ball, 20over or Test cricket. It’s not a fluke that he is a great player.”

Smith is likely to de­velop his T20 game even more over the next year, as Aus­tralia turns its fo­cus to­wards a home World Cup.

The global de­bate sur­round­ing the world’s best batsman man­tle be­tween Smith and Vi­rat Kohli of­ten rules that Smith is the king of the red ball while Kohli dom­i­nates the white. But Langer said there was no rea­son why Smith couldn’t climb to the top of the T20 tree.

“Hope­fully he is ranked No.1 in all three forms,” Langer said. “I’m sure he will be as­pir­ing to do that. Hope­fully all our play­ers are as­pir­ing to it as well. [Tues­day] night was just sub­lime. He plays shots where you just shake your head.”

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