Steve Smith, who is an Australian middle-order batsman believes that England’s shocking decision to ignore Joe Root for the upcoming T20I bilateral series between the two sides indicates that the hosts want to go all out and include power hitters in their squad. Test captain Joe Root has been ignored for a three-match contest starting at Southampton on Friday even though the likes of opener Jason Roy and all-rounder Ben Stokes are unavailable.
He has also not featured in the ongoing T20I series against Pakistan, where the likes of white-ball limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan have been preferred ahead of Joe Root to play for 2019 World Cup champions England.
Steve Smith Surprised By Joe Root’s Omission From T20I Squad
England national selector Ed Smith made it clear that Joe Root was certainly not among the country’s best XI considering shortest international format T20I, although he hoped that the skilled batsman could be considered for selection for next year’s T20I World Cup in India.
Some fans and experts still believe that there is still a place for Joe Root’s traditional orthodox batting skills even among power-hitting T20I cricket and considering the fact that Australia have now recalled Steve Smith, their leading Test batsman, into the Twenty20 side after a three-year absence from 2016-2019.
“It’s a surprise. Joe is a terrific player across all formats of the game,” Smith told Britain’s Press Association news agency on Tuesday.
“I guess England are opting for all-out power and are continuing to go that way. Everyone’s got different game-plans and different ways to go. If everyone played the same it would be a pretty boring game,” he said.
Joe Root has played 97 Tests and 145 ODIs where he averages 47.7 and 51.05 respectively. He has featured in only 32 T20Is where he averages 35.72 with only five fifties to his name.
Steve Smith Ready To Play Anchor Role But Unwilling to Captain Australia Again
Steve Smith was clear about his role in Australia’s T20I top order where he will play alongside T20I specialists Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Finch and David Warner. He feels that he will play an anchor role and will rotate the strike and allow the T20I power hitting batsmen to smash the ball all around the park.
“I know if I’m batting with someone like Glenn Maxwell or Aaron Finch my role is to get them on strike and let them smack it,” he said.
“For me it’s about hitting gaps, sort of playing an anchor role and fixing things up if the big boys don’t get out there and smack it,” Smith said.
But Smith was inflexible on the fact that he was not considering captaining Australia again. The former Australian skipper is now eligible for the post again after serving a two-year ban for his involvement in a 2018 ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. Steve Smith averages more than 60 in Tests, more than 40 in ODIs but less than 30 in 39 T20Is.
Steve Smith, however, acknowledged that he was happy to serve under current Test captain Tim Paine and white-ball counterpart Aaron Finch.
“The guys we’ve got are doing great jobs across the formats. I’m pretty chilled at the moment doing what I’m doing, scoring as many runs as I can, fielding as well as I can and giving bits of advice here and there. I’m just enjoying it so there’s no real thought from me (on captaincy),” Smith maintained.
Steve Smith was mocked harshly by home crowds during World Cup and Ashes in England, but the advent of behind closed doors cricket in response to the corona-virus means there won’t be any protesters present during the T20Is and the subsequent three ODIs.