SMITH ANSWERS WORLD CUP QUESTIONS
STEVE Smith used his lack of game time in the Indian Premier League to work “on a few things” that contributed to a well-timed halfcentury in a practice match smacking by India.
After Australian opener David Warner failed again, out for one following a duck in the first warm-up game, Smith helped rescue his team, making 57 from 48 balls after coming in in just the second over. With questions over whether he holds his place given Mitch Marsh was elevated to is No.3 position, the batting star showed his true worth to the team.
Smith spent another 18 overs at the crease, dismissed with just one delivery left in the innings on the back of a 50-run partnership with Glenn Maxwell and then adding 76 in eight overs with Marcus Stoinis.
It was Smith’s first 50 since an unbeaten 86 for NSW in a one-day match in March; he was used just twice in the IPL by Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting.
Stuck spending most of his time in the nets during the month-long IPL stint, Smith said he put his time to good use and was “feeling good” ahead of Australia’s World Cup campaign.
“I feel like I have been hitting the ball really well,” he said after his innings.
“I haven’t obviously played too many games at the IPL, but I spent a lot of time in the nets working on things and getting used to the conditions, which has been nice.
“It’s a lot cooler than it was a month or so ago which is nice, but I feel like I am in a good place with my game and hopefully the guys have got a bit out of these last two hit-outs and are ready to go for game one.”
Australia lost the game, taking just one Indian wicket as they reeled in the total of 153 with 13 balls to spare.