Smith eager for opening challenge against Windies
ADELAIDE, Australia (CMC) – Marquee batsman Steve Smith says he is champing at the bit for his first taste of action at the top of the order, when Australia take on West Indies in the opening Test starting on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old, the Australia’s leading batsman in the longest format, opted to move up to the opening slot from the middle order, following last week’s retirement of veteran left-hander David Warner.
“I am [excited]. I like facing the newer ball,” said Smith, who has amassed 9 514 runs from 105 Tests.
“I think you look back to [the] 2019 Ashes, I was in pretty early there most of the time where I was facing the new ball.
“I batted number three for a number of years as well and was in early and did pretty well against the new ball.
“So it’s nothing new or foreign to me. I enjoy getting in there and getting amongst it and I’m looking forward to that challenge.”
Smith averages a phenomenal 150 in seven Tests against West Indies, his best of 200 not out scored in Perth the last time the Caribbean side toured two years ago.
And while former stars have warned against the move, the retiring Aaron Finch backed Smith to succeed.
“When you’ve been one of the greatest players of all time, I think he’ll find it easier than most,” Finch argued.
“Initially when it was floated, I didn’t think it was the right idea. But the more I think about it, the more it makes a lot of sense.”
West Indies have not won a single Test against the Aussies in 21 years and are without a series success against their rivals in three decades.