“He Is Still Talking About…”: Steve Smith’s Manager On If Australia Star Will Retire

Cricket

Star Australian batter Steve Smith will not be retiring from Test cricket this season, as he is still “talking about things he wants to achieve” despite a lean run in the longest format by his own mighty standards. As per Sydney Morning Herald, Smith’s manager Warren Craig has offered clarification that the star batter will not follow David Warner into retirement. Warner will retire from Test cricket following the third Test against Pakistan at his home ground of Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) next year.

“I can debunk that (retirement) at this point in time. He is still talking about things he wants to achieve,” said Smith’s manager as quoted by Sydney Morning Herald.

Smith, who is considered one of the modern-era greats, has scored 9.320 runs in 102 Tests at an average of 58.61, with 32 centuries and 39 fifties. He also has 5,356 runs in 155 ODIs at an average of 43.54, with 12 centuries and 32 fifties.

But this year has been rough for Australia’s best batter. Smith has done well in 11 Tests this year, scoring 777 runs at an average of 43.16, with three centuries and two fifties in 20 innings. Though these numbers are great, it is still not up to the mark for a batter who has made a habit out of averaging in his 50s and 60s over these years in whites.

In 16 ODIs, Smith has scored just 439 runs at an average of 31.35 and a strike rate of over 83, with three half-centuries in 15 innings and best score of 74. Though Australia won their sixth ICC Cricket World Cup title, Smith was underwhelming in the tournament, scoring 302 runs in 10 matches at an average of 33.55, with two fifties.

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The goals being talked about include the ICC T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA next year in June. Smith will be looking to fire with the bat and make Australia the first-ever team to hold all three major ICC titles, including the World Test Championship and 50-over Cricket World Cup at once.

Smith also has a blockbuster home bilateral series against India to look forward to, where he would have to be at his best if Australia want to avenge the series losses to India in 2019 and 2021 inside their own territory.

Smith could also become only the fourth Australian player to touch 10,000 runs on home soil next season.

The batter fuelled talks over his future back in January when he said during the Sydney Test against South Africa that he is unsure about playing another match in whites at home.

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Smith could be very well entering his decline as in two profile series against India in subcontinent conditions and the Ashes against England, Smith scored just 518 runs across 17 innings at an average of 34.53, with a century and two fifties in nine matches.

Though Smith scored a century in the ICC World Test Championship final, he missed chances to emerge as Australia’s big-match player in Tests at Delhi, Headingley, The Oval and in the ICC Cricket World Cup final.

Former Australian skipper Mark Taylor has not ruled out the possibility of Smith having another golden run, but also cautioned that batters do not tend to improve when they hit their mid-thirties.

“It does not mean they are done, but normally you have seen their best by then,” Taylor said. “The early 30s would be the purple patch for most players,” he added.

The home series against Pakistan and West Indies provide a chance for Smith to gather a huge amount of runs, though he is someone who needs big challenges to bring out his best.

Four years ago, following a triumphant return from suspension due to the ‘Sandpapergate’ ball-tampering scandal during the Ashes series on England soil, he could not score centuries against Kiwis and Pakistan at home.

“He had that extra motivation to prove he would come back an even better player – and on pitches that did a bit,” Taylor said. “He did that, and funnily enough he came back on the Australian summer and did not make a lot of runs,” concluded Taylor.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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