Home Business Steve Smith stops the shuffle as South Africa’s Wenty20 WC challenge approaches

Steve Smith stops the shuffle as South Africa’s Wenty20 WC challenge approaches


After slipping past Bradman’s 6,996 career runs, Smith went out on his own to claim major milestones. Earlier this year against Pakistan, Smith became the fastest man to 8,000 Test runs, reaching the milestone in 151 innings.

He defeated Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara who reached the mark in 152 innings. India’s all-time great hero Sachin Tendulkar took 154 innings. Smith surpassed fellow Australians Matthew Hayden (164 innings), Ricky Ponting (165), Michael Clarke (172), Alan Border (184) and Steve Waugh (194).

Steve Smith is playing for the Australian T20 side in India this year.credit:Getty

Smith has always stayed away from the spinners, but his shuffling across the crease for fast bowlers covering off stump left the stumps with little margin for error as he picked balls through the leg side and pounced on anything that was wide off-stump.

However, after his phenomenal 2019 Ashes tours, where he scored 774 runs at an average of 110.57, teams started bowling Smith differently.

Later that year, New Zealand teams began attacking Smith’s body, limiting his scoring.


Despite​​​​a continued good average, Smith managed just one century in his next 31st Test innings en route to an unbeaten 145 (and a duck) in his last Test in Sri Lanka last July.

That’s when he started standing still in front of Sri Lanka’s only swinger, Kasun Rajitha, to better counter his backswings.

“I’ve had phases where I’ve gone too far,” Smith said of his shuffle.

“I felt like I was just getting a little bit of a front, just getting positions that I wasn’t comfortable with.”

Smith said it has to do with white-ball cricket as well as Test cricket.

“If you get too close forward, you just lose the power and the ability to hit the ball on either side of the wicket,” he said. “This is the main reason [the change].”

For all his greatness, Smith’s lack of a gritty powerplay is in danger of leaving him a marginal spectator during Australia’s World T20 campaign, a year after performing modestly as a member of the team that won the country’s first T20 World Cup.

Still, Smith believes he’s trying to play into the power that brought him to this crossroads.


“I don’t think I can believe it,” he said. “I’ve probably been guilty of this in the past, trying to increase my power. I’ve tried to do it and it’s just not me.

“So I’m just being authentic and playing my way, and when I do that, I feel like I’m good enough for any team.”

Sports news, results and expert commentary. Subscribe to our sports newsletter.


Next articleDangerously familiar to Finch, Australia host England’s T20 squad in a transitional period | Australian cricket team