Legendary Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy has questioned the national selectors for not considering Steve Smith as an opener in white-ball cricket. Smith, 33, scored 328 runs in four innings for the Sydney Sixers of the Big Bash League (BBL), scoring 36, 101, 125 not out and 66. Healy says it’s hard to ignore Smith’s credentials as an opener, especially since David Warner and Aaron Finch are nowhere near their best.
Finch retired from ODIs late last year after a miserable season that also saw the hosts exit the T20 World Cup at home early.
Healy also compared Smith to the legendary Don Bradman, saying it was a “privilege” to watch the cricketer.
When asked if he’d like to see Smith in the shortest format, Healy said, “Absolutely, how could you not?” “Who opened with (David) Warner in the T20 World Cup? It was Finchy (Aaron Finch) who was captain. Both Warner and Finch are not playing nearly as well as Smith so I think he overtakes them both with the way he is now batting,” Healy told Sportsday NSW on Wednesday.
The 58-year-old added that not only T20Is, but selectors should consider Smith for the opener role in India’s 50-over World Cup next year.
“We don’t play many international T20s, so hopefully he will do this (scoring a lot in BBL) in the run-up to the next World Cup. Even in the 50-over match, I would also open with him.” Healy indicated that very few batters in Australia came close to Smith in terms of technique.
“I feel like it’s a privilege to watch him. When he gets out and sees how hard the others are doing, the disconnect between him and the rest is incredible, it’s very Bradman-esque.
“He just does it so easily and how he did it, he would have a technical idea of what he’s doing – he talks about grip and stuff, but I like his feet, his feet are still and his head is quiet.
“When he was playing at his best maybe three or four years ago he was running all over the place, but when the bowler delivered the ball he was dead still and his feet on the ground.
“He finds the middle of the bat incredibly often and it feels like a privilege to see him play like that, he didn’t do it six months ago.”
Featured video of the day
“Root Cause is Dirty Politics”: Sports Activist Amid #MeToo Protests
Topics mentioned in this article