Injured Australia batsman David Warner has come in support of his out-of-form teammate Steve Smith, saying that he averages over 60 despite getting knocked off by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson at the top of ICC Test rankings for batsmen.
Steve Smith, who currently averages 61.33 in Tests, has accumulated only 10 runs from the 4 innings of the ongoing Test series against India. The right-hander has struggled against a very potent Indian bowling attack. Ravichandran Ashwin has got the better of Smith on 2 occasions in the series. Due to his bad form Smith slipped to the 3rd spot in latest ICC Test rankings for batsmen, while Kane Williamson to the top spot. Virat Kohli contiues to be the number 2 ranked Test batsman.
“Steve Smith has been recently knocked off by Kane Williamson as best batter in the world (ICC ranking) but if you look at his numbers, he still averages over 60. Everyone is allowed to have a bit of lack of form and I saw that myself when I was in England (Ashes 2019),” Warner said in a virtual news conference on Saturday.
“On a day, if you have your name on that delivery, it is what it is and you can’t do anything about it.”
“As you can see that it’s not due to lack of preparation as the guy (Smith) doesn’t get out of nets. He works off his backside all the time,” Warner added.
Showing intent important, both teams have lacked fluency at top
Further, David Warner suggested that both India and Australia have lacked fluency at the top. Warner, who has scored 7,244 runs and 22 hundreds with his aggressive batting in Test cricket, said that showing intent and not allowing “very good” bowling attacks to dictate terms was important. The 34-year-old added that he would personally like swinging his bat rather than sitting back on the crease.
“My 84 Test matches have always been about pre-meditated attacks and it doesn’t change for me but it’s about how the team looks at it. When I talk about intent, I mean by putting pressure back on the bowlers not just by swinging the bat.
“There are other ways of showing intent which could lead them into bowling those odd full-pitched balls and short of length balls which you can pull or cut. That’s what I talk about when I talk about putting pressure on bowlers.
“It’s about going out there and playing your shots.
“If you allow very good attacks, which both these teams have, to dictate their terms, without applying pressure, then it becomes difficult to score. Both teams have lacked a bit of fluency at the top in two Tests.
“You need to show that intent in loud calling, shoulders are back, you are in the bowlers’ face, unsettle their line and length and I am speaking from experience.
“Lengths are key to Australian wickets and they have been hitting some nice lengths as I heard from some of the guys. Drive on the up and drop and run and apply that pressure, some of that was missing.
“You can’t allow great attacks to dictate terms to you as batsmen. It has its challenges by all means but you have got to play outside the square (out of box) and be a little bit brave.
“I would rather go out there swinging than sitting back on the crease. If I am able to go out there, I will try and have that intent like I always have,” Warner said.