Smith to test Pakistan’s patience
STEVE Smith has warned Pakistan’s exciting pace attack he aims to test their reserves with patience in the first Test at the Gabba starting Thursday. The match will mark the former Australian captain’s first Test on home soil since his ball-tampering ban.
He’ll arrive with plenty of belief, coming off an Ashes series that netted 774 runs at 110.57 and with fond memories of the Brisbane ground. Smith averages 71 across five Tests at the venue, with a patient unbeaten 141 on day one of the 2017 Ashes series that rated among his best knocks.
Pakistan could include promising 16-year-old speedster Naseem Shah alongside accurate seamer Mohammad Abbas in a pace attack capable of doing damage on a lively Gabba deck.
But Smith intends to make them work hard for any success.
“This week is going to be about getting used to the Gabba bounce, working on my leave and just being patient,” Smith said.
“I’ve never faced Abbas ... he stands the seam up, any sort of movement he’ll get the most out of it. And it looks like Shah bowls with some good pace.
“Being as young as he is, he probably hasn’t bowled lots of overs consistently so it’ll be about making him come back and bowl as many spells as he can and see if he can maintain it.”
Skipper Tim Paine hopes Smith’s top-six companions take note as the side aims to be less reliant on their star man.
“We felt we made some strides in England, but it means nothing if we don’t continue to improve,” he said.
“We can’t be so reliant on Steve all the time, so that’s a huge area of focus for us this summer, scoring hundreds and putting big first innings runs on the board.”