Before Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka commenced, Steve Smith was perceived as an invincible batsman, when someone mentioned his present form. The New South Wales batsman, who topped the batting charts and led by a significant distance, was bound to be his side’s fulcrum with the bat. After three tests and a humiliating whitewash, all that assumption about Smith being the best test batsman currently seems just mediocre.
Despite scoring a fine century in the first innings of the third test, the tour would go down as a low for Australia’s captain. In the first couple of games, Smith was all at sea against the veteran Rangana Herath. Herath in all dismissed Smith 5 times out of the 6 innings. That should ring an alarm or two, considering the fact that early next year; Ravindra Jadeja would be bowling a lot to Steve Smith on the dustbowls of India.
In his column, Smith mentioned that he regretted playing a few shots. “I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t replayed my dismissals from this series over and over in my head when I’ve been alone in my hotel room,” Smith wrote. “Looking back, there are several shots that I regret playing. I regret playing a cut shot and getting bowled by Rangana Herath – twice. Those ones really hurt me because I’d practiced that exact thing in the nets a huge amount in the lead-up to this series.”
Elaborating the flaws within his technique in minute details, Smith added, “I also regret standing on middle and leg stump in the second innings of the first Test, and getting out lbw. If I had been batting on leg stump, I probably would have got my bat in the way, and not been out. Those sorts of things make me angry with myself, given how much I’ve prepared for those scenarios in the nets.”
Joking about his off-field words with Herath, his chief tormentor, Smith said that he was glad that the spinner wasn’t a part of the ODI team. “We actually had a drink with the Sri Lankans after the game, and I had a chat to Herath about his bowling tactics. I joked with him that he better stay retired from one-dayers because now I might finally be able to score some runs! He was gracious enough to explain little things like how he changes the trajectory of the ball just by adjusting the height of his arm, and how when there’s a breeze he puts the shiny side of the ball on the outside to try to get the ball to drift,” Smith mentioned.