'I wasn't ready for Tests': Smith
Batsman concedes 2010 debut came too early
16 July 2014, 07:54 AM AEST
Australia batsman Steve Smith has admitted he wasn’t adequately prepared for the demands of Test cricket when he first debuted in Baggy Green back in 2010.
The 25-year-old, who has since established himself as a middle-order mainstay after superb displays against England and South Africa in the Test arena, came into the side during a period of significant flux in Australian cricket, and conceded upon reflection that the timing wasn’t right.
“I would come out and say honestly that I don’t think I was probably ready at that stage,” Smith, who was 21 at the time, told Fox Sports’ The Back Page.
“I’ve had a lot of time to play in the first-class arena now and just keep getting better, and the consistent performances, and scoring hundreds, was something I needed to learn, and I think recently I’ve been able to get over that barrier of making 50 and 60, and (instead I’ve been) going on and making hundreds.
“Hundreds are what win games for your team, and hopefully I can keep scoring them in the future.”
Smith played two Tests against Pakistan in 2010 as a leg-spinning allrounder, filling in for the injured Nathan Hauritz, however he was then overlooked for the opening Test of the 2010-11 Ashes, with Xavier Doherty debuting ahead of him.
He returned later in that Ashes series, playing in three Tests, but was again dropped from the side thereafter, and didn’t get another look-in until March 2013 in India, where his first contribution of 92 in Mohali was one of the few rays of hope on an otherwise shambolic tour for Australia.
“I’d been in, and I worked my way out through some poor performances,” he concedes.
“I worked hard to get back in. One of the reasons you can get to the top is with consistent performances, and I’d like to think my performances for NSW and the Sixers recently have been quite consistent.
“Working my way back into the Australian side was my biggest goal, and to get there now, it’s about staying there and keep putting those consistent performances on the board.”
Having endured the four-nil whitewash in India, and by being a regular since Lehmann’s appointment, Smith saw the turning tide in the national set-up and felt it was only a matter of time before the team’s on-field fortunes were reversed.
“I thought we played some pretty good cricket in England during the (2013) Ashes,” he said.
“Coming back to Australia we were pretty confident that if we played the same brand of cricket and kept improving, we’d be successful, and the summer was just extraordinary.
“The last couple of months have been amazing and hopefully that ride continues.”