Whenever Steve Smith sets out to bat, fans expect something special from him every time. The fact that his Test career average is over 60, is just an indication of his panache to score runs and score them with some considerable ease. A fascinating aspect of his ridiculous run amassing spree has been that he looks in complete control of the game and even when he is beaten by a good delivery, he rarely exhibits any emotions.
During the second innings at Pune, the demons in the pitch were at its full use as the ball was spinning and bouncing viciously. Being the incredible batsman he is at present, Smith countered that with his own unique way, sometimes by altering his stance, or even by making a dynamic use of his footwork. The end result was for all to see as he registered a match-winning century, and arguably, the best of his career so far.
Prior to the second Test in Bangalore, Smith credited his mindset as a reason behind his successful run.
“I was doing things that I probably haven’t done before,” Smith said about his knock in the first Test. “My eyes were sort of spinning and I was in a bit of a trance and to get to those, I think I’ve been there a couple of times in that kind of mindset. “For me, it was just such an important period of the game and I knew if we could get to 300 or over that, what we got to on the night of day two, I thought we’d be a real good chance to win.”
“That afternoon, I was very determined and focused on the job at hand to try and get as many as we could. “And I guess if it calls for it again, hopefully, I can bring that next level out, and next gear out. “It was pleasing to know I had that level in me.”
Smith, however, remains grounded for the second Test and elaborated on his thoughts about the wicket. “This wicket, first innings it looks like it probably won’t take as much turn so it’s about summing it up again and I still think the danger ball is going to be the one that goes straight on. “So making sure we get that covered, and you’ve got to be willing to sacrifice certain things and willing to get out certain ways.”
“In these conditions, if we’re willing to edge it to the slips then you live with that you don’t want to get hit on the pads. “That’s been an issue for a while with this group, where we’ve been getting hit on the pads playing in Asian conditions. “So be willing to get out caught at slip, and we’re okay with that.”