‘Not sure how long’: Hobbling Smith won’t be around forever

It was Smith’s third century in 31 innings of going through what for him was a flat spot, but it was his second ton in three hits after getting rid of his exaggerated shuffle across the crease while on the Sri Lankan tour during the middle of this year.

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“I’ve always worked hard and been confident. The reason for my slight change in technique is because I was unhappy with where I was at with my batting,” he said.

“Whilst I was still contributing to the team, I wasn’t probably getting the big runs that I’d like to get. I think now with the way I’m able to play and the way teams have bowled against me, I’ve sort of had to adapt a bit where I’m at with my body and my hands.

“Now I feel like I’m opening up the whole ground as opposed to probably just sort of behind square on the leg side and I’m able to hit the ball in different areas, which I probably wasn’t able to hit previously. So I feel in a good place right now.”

Still struggling with a sore hip created when a stretching exercise went wrong before the Test, Smith believes Australia can force a victory after the West Indies went to stumps at 0-74 in reply to Australia’s 4(dec)-598. Just four wickets fell in the first two days.

“I think the game’s set up really nicely,” Smith said. “I think they played pretty well tonight, the West Indies batters. So tomorrow, I think it’s important that we put a bit of pressure on early and stick to the basics, be really patient and hopefully that’ll get us some good results. But I certainly think a result is on the cards, and I think the cracks will probably come into play a little bit more as the game goes on.”

“There’s a few starting to sort of form. They’re not large at present, but there’s a little bit there. So we’ll see.”

Smith felt the Australians bowled a little too short but the cracks are likely to play a bigger role as the game goes on, as they did against India in the first Test at Perth Stadium four years ago.

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