New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) Steve Smith enjoyed batting without the pressure of playing an anchor’s role as he smashed a 66-ball 105 against India to help Australia get to 374 runs in 50 overs. Australia won the first ODI by 66 runs to take a 1-0 led in the series.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of pressure. The other times I have batted with the team being under pressure, I had to play an almost anchor’s role to help us get a total. Today was different from my normal strike rate, the balls were hit differently from the middle of the bat. I felt good out there. Hopefully, I can keep taking that forward and keep contributing to wins like tonight,” Smith told reporters after the match.
The Australia batsman said that they didn’t discuss any score as a target while batting.
“We actually didn’t really talk about scores. We actually talked just about playing the game, taking them on. Obviously, Finchy (captain Aaron Finch) played very well, Davey (David Warner) played very well, set the platform, enabled guys (later on) to play with freedom. Today was my day. Rode my luck, there was a chance at mid-on. You need some luck when you score,” added Smith.
The 31-year-old said that he had the luxury to build on a good start and picked his bowlers on the day.
“I was not thinking about scoring. It was just — see ball, hit ball. Obviously, the foundation had been set. I could be quite aggressive. Picked my bowlers, where I could hit them, played some good shots — the areas to my strengths. It was nice to hit a few in the middle, spend some time out there and hopefully it helps me in good stead for the rest of the summer,” Smith said, and added that the team has got all bases covered.
In September, Australia won ODI series in England 2-1 without Smith.
“We have got all bases covered, we are playing some good one-day cricket lately. Obviously, we won the series in England where I wasn’t even part of it where the boys played exceptionally well. So, yeah, it’s good to come back in tonight and personally help the guys playing good cricket and found good players.”