T20 World Cup: Does Steve Smith still deserve a spot on the Australian team?

The emergence of an exciting new talent is generally good news for selection and team management. But the wise men of Australia were caught in a pickle by Cameron Green’s swift and giant strides.

The tall built all-rounder, who is not in Australia’s squad for the T20 World Cup, made people sit up and take notice after excelling at the top of the rankings, where he had failed at all in his young career.

There are other pressing issues facing the selectors – namely Steve Smith’s utility in the T20 format, the fitness or not of Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh, both of whom played big roles in Australia’s title run last year where they tested Tim David’s attacking talents should fit. and will skipper Aaron Finch bat an eyelid.

It’s Smith, a proven performer in the other two formats, who seems most vulnerable when the selectors ignore emotion. His forte is slamming the ball into gaps and finding one boundary or another when the others around him can clear the rope almost at will.

With everyone fit and available you can see Australia come in with the same batting line-up – order flexible – with the only change being David in Smith’s place.

The only reason to keep the former skipper might be the bigger Australian reasons and the likelihood of losing early wickets when his skill and more conservative batting style could come in handy. But teams these days usually keep attacking during the innings, even if they lose a few batsmen in the process. Smith’s most recent annual batting rates in T20Is have been 97.18 in 2021 (4 innings) and 120.51 in 2022 to date (9 innings), much lower than the norm for the rest of Australia’s batting order.

In contrast, David, admittedly just starting out for Australia, has a batting average of 165.95 over seven games.

It can be argued that Smith would most likely be looking inside from the outside if Green were added to the roster.

With the fitness of the Seam Bowling all-rounders still uncertain and Finch looking for his best form after retiring from ODIs, there are more questions than answers.



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