Steve Smith, Australia batsman, World Cup 2019 Player Full Profile: Australia will want Smith to find his majestic touch for title defence

Australian selectors have put enormous faith in Smith by not only selecting him but also omitting his readymade back-up in Peter Handscomb from the 15-man squad.

Gaurav Joshi, Apr 26, 2019 17:56:55 IST

It is hard to contemplate the 2019 World Cup will be Steve Smith's third. In 2011, he was budding cricketer that was part-time leg-spinner and batted in the lower order. Four years later, Smith had transformed himself into one of the finest batsmen in world cricket. Australian selectors have put enormous faith in Smith by not only selecting him but also omitting his readymade back-up in Peter Handscomb from the 15-man squad.

File image of Australian cricket captain Steve Smith. PTI

File image of Australian cricket captain Steve Smith. PTI

After 12 months away from international cricket, Smith has found it difficult to regain his majestic touch and his elbow is still restricting his movements. Two weeks ago, Smith was dropped from Rajasthan Royals' playing XI but came back strong to score an unbeaten half-century to lead his franchise to victory against the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

After the match, Smith stated his elbow is ‘getting better by the day'. Smith will head home in the first week of May to attend the World Cup camp where he is expected to play a few practice matches to rediscover his golden touch.

Smith is expected to bat at No.4 at the World Cup. He will have a defined role of being the anchorman during the middle overs and be the primary player to negotiate the  spinners. Smith's record in the ODI game is exceptional, with 3431 runs at 41.84, but it is his strike-rate (85.8) and his inability to hit big sixes is still a concern.

Smith has only batted at No.4 for 17 innings and his average drops to 35.60 with just one hundred. But his sheer presence in the Australian XI and his ability to manoeuvre the ball into the gaps through the middle overs will be vital to Australia's chances.

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Updated Date: May 16, 2019 14:04:13 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Mumbai
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Delhi
14 9 5 0 18
4
Hyderabad
14 6 8 0 12
5
Kolkata
14 6 8 0 12
6
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
7
Rajasthan
14 5 8 0 11
8
Bangalore
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5372 125
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3846 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254