Australia Test skipper Steve Smith confirmed he will drop down to No.4 in the batting order for the first Test against New Zealand to provide balance to his inexperienced line-up. (Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja Included in Australian Squad for First Two Tests Against New Zealand)
After taking over the captaincy from Michael Clarke, Smith had already said that he may have to drop down to four. He has now confirmed the move now with Usman Khawaja slotting in at No.3 while Joe Burns will join David Warner in opening for the Test that starts at the Gabba from Thursday. (Australia Rule Out Wild Experiments for New Zealand Tests)
Smith first dropped down the order during the tour of the Caribbean earlier this year. He later scored a masterful 143 at No.3 in his most recent Test at The Oval in August. But his average is 80.00 at No.4, from the four Tests he played in the position against India last summer.
"Breaking the more experienced players up a little bit in the order (is the right thing to do). (By dropping down to No.4), if there's a run of wickets hopefully I can stop it. A lot of the players that are coming through at the moment are top order players. It's just the way I see it at the moment," Smith was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"Breaking it up between Davey (Warner) and myself and hopefully the guys at the top and No.3 do well and then I can just come in and get some runs on the board as well."
Smith hopes the move will be a permanent one.
"One of my philosophies is to make sure I am leading from the front so hopefully I can do that this summer. A performance with the bat last year would be nice. We'll see how it goes," he said.
"It would probably be more if it doesn't work out for certain players (that I would change back). If it didn't work out and I saw it fit to go to three, that's no drama as well. I really don't see a big difference between three and four playing-wise."