Steven Smith’s Opening Batting Role: A Make or Break Scenario for Australia

Former Australia Team skipper Tim Paine offers insights into Steven Smith’s role as an opening batsman, suggesting that opposition teams may find solace in Smith’s recent struggles.

However, Paine expresses confidence in Smith’s ability to thrive in this position, despite a less-than-stellar performance in New Zealand.

Steven Smith’s Opening Batting Role: A Make or Break Scenario for Australia

Paine emphasized that if he were part of the opposition, he would prefer Smith opening the batting. From the perspective of rival teams, having Smith face the new ball allows them to deploy their best bowlers with maximum potency. Reflecting on Smith’s past dominance at number four, Paine underscored the challenge opposition bowlers faced in dismissing him when he was in top form.

While acknowledging the current scrutiny surrounding Smith’s performance as an opener, Paine expressed his desire to see him succeed in the role. He credited Smith’s versatility and skill, stating that he possesses the capability to thrive anywhere in the batting order. However, from an opposition standpoint, having Smith at the top increases the likelihood of dismissing him early in the innings.

Smith’s elevation to the opening slot following David Warner’s retirement has reshaped Australia’s batting lineup, allowing Cameron Green to return at number four. Despite criticism of Smith’s early returns in the new position, Australia’s head coach Andrew McDonald defended him, labeling the scrutiny as “unfair” and advocating for a more patient assessment.

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Looking ahead to the upcoming India series, Paine emphasized the continuity in Australia’s batting order, expressing confidence in Smith’s ability to adapt and succeed as an opener. With a formidable pace attack expected from India, Paine believes Smith has earned the right to dictate his batting position and is poised to make significant contributions in the upcoming Test matches.

In conclusion, Tim Paine’s insights shed light on the strategic implications of Steven Smith’s role as an opener and highlight the ongoing debate surrounding his performance. Despite initial challenges, Paine remains optimistic about Smith’s ability to thrive in the opening position and anticipates a successful transition in the upcoming series against India.

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