The Courier-Mail

Smith punts on advice

- BEN HORNE

STEVE Smith has revealed he will consult former Test skipper Ricky Ponting before making a decision on whether to try to balance the captaincy with the added responsibi­lity of staying at No.3 in a new-look Australian batting order.

On his first official day as the new boss, Smith confirmed he will remain at first drop for the limited overs tour starting in Belfast today with a one-off internatio­nal against Ireland.

But in regards to his place in the Test team, Smith is seriously considerin­g a move down the order as he braces for the reality of he and David Warner being the only two batsmen in the side to have played more than 10 Tests.

It would be an extraordin­ary backflip from a superstar who has made two hundreds and a double century at an average of 71.90 from his seven Tests batting at No.3. Ponting captained Australia 75 times batting at the pivotal position of No.3, where he made 19 hundreds at 54.46.

Opinion is divided on where Smith should bat, but Ponting is adamant the 26year-old leader should stay where he is as the best batsman in the team. Smith is eager to hear it from the man he is out to emulate.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully being able to get him on the phone and talk about a few things and just continue to try to learn,” he said.

“I was lucky enough to play under him as a player. He’s certainly a little bit different to Michael (Clarke) in a few ways that he’s run things, both good and bad, each of them to their own (style).”

Sitting in the foyer of a Belfast hotel was a low-key place for Smith to give his first address as captain.

He has done the job before, filling in for Clarke in three Tests and a one-dayer last summer, however there is a sense of anticipati­on now the reign of Smith is starting.

Smith says his journey as captain has rejuvenate­d him after a disappoint­ing Ashes series, and one of the country’s youngest leaders has already put his mind to work as he prepares to make an immediate mark.

“I’m very excited, obviously,” he said.

“I’ve known for a little while now that I was going to be taking over the one-day squad.

“I’ve been working pretty hard and preparing everything coming up.

“The last time this group was together we won a World Cup so I don’t think we have to change a whole heap. We’re currently No.1 in the world. I think for us now it’s just about raising that bar.”

AUSTRALIA: David Warner, Joe Burns, Steve Smith (c), George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Shane Watson, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan CoulterNil­e.

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