Melbourne [Australia]: Australian Test skipper Tim Paine lauded batsman Steve Smith for his consistency, saying a batter cannot average more than 60 if he does not have some sort of mission on the field.
“You don’t become one of the best players in the world and average 60 in Test cricket if you don’t have some sort of a mission,” cricket.com.au quoted Paine as saying.
“The boys have been having a bit of a laugh the last couple of days because nothing’s changed – he’s hit a million balls and our coach’s arm is falling off already on day two of the trip,” he added.
Smith, David Warner, Cameron Bancroft have made a comeback to the team after facing a one year ban for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in 2018 against South Africa.
However, Paine believes that these three players have fitted perfectly with the group, saying the work ethic of both these players is second to none.
“It’s great to see that him, and David (Warner) and Cameron Bancroft have come back in and fitted perfectly in our group,” Paine said.
“They are guys who have always trained at exceptionally high standards and set the standard for others. The three of them have been outstanding since they’ve been back and involved,” he added.
Smith is currently ranked at the number four position in the ICC Test batsmen rankings, and he holds the highest ranking for any Australia batter in the rankings, despite having played his last Test in 2018.
Paine said that he would be regularly approaching Smith for getting advice on making tactics in the pressure cooker situations.
“We get some practice games, and we get another really good one this week, but to have guys who have been here is hugely beneficial. We’ve had guys who have come on Ashes tours before and we’ve got our coach (Langer), our assistant coach (Hick), and (Test squad mentor) Steve Waugh,” Paine said.
Australia takes on England in the Ashes, beginning August 1.