Australia’s Steve Smith strongly hits back at critics challenging his suitability as an opener in Test cricket

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In a remarkable turnaround, after three relatively lean innings as David Warner’s replacement as a Test opener alongside Usman Khawaja, the talismanic batter Steve Smith nearly steered Australia to victory, almost avoiding an eight-run upset by the West Indies in the second Test at the Gabba in Brisbane.

Steve Smith’s remarkable innings at Gabba for Australia

Smith crafted an unbeaten 91 runs off 146 balls, showcasing his resilience with one six and nine boundaries. Throughout the chase, Smith held the fort while wickets fell around him. However, despite his outstanding performance, the remaining batters faltered in the 216 runs chase. Although unable to secure victory, his exceptional knock is anticipated to solidify his position at the top of the order in the longest format.

Also READ: West Indies announce squad for the white-ball series against Australia; drops a star player

Steve Smith responds to critics ahead of ODI series against West Indies

Now ahead of the ODI series against the West Indies, Smith provided a strong response to critics questioning his role as a Test opener for Australia after the 34-year-old had registered scores of 12, 11*, and six in his initial three innings as an opener. Amid commentary about his supposed failures in a few innings, Smith highlighted his impressive average of 60 as an opener. He expressed enjoyment in the new role, emphasizing his willingness to adapt to any position according to the team’s requirements. The forthcoming ODI series will see Smith taking charge, with key players like Pat Cummins given a rest for the three-match affair.

“There was a lot of commentary around I’d failed in two or three innings – I had a not out and two low scores. Now I’m averaging 60 as an opener. It was just another position; I’ve battled against the new ball numerous times, coming in early. I’ve enjoyed the first couple of weeks of it … if they see fit to move me back down, I’ll do whatever the team needs,” Smith was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

Also READ: Australia update ODI squad for West Indies series; Jake Fraser-McGurk gets maiden call-up

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