"They've Got Rid Of 'Mr. Fix-it' Tag": Steve Smith Given License To Thrill Ahead Of Sri Lanka T20Is
SL vs AUS: Never known to tee-off from the word go, Steve Smith has over time become adept at the anchor role in T20Is, but he has now been given the license to take the attack to the bowlers.
At one point Steve Smith was among the most sought after batters during the Indian Premier League auctions, however, as things would turn out, the Australian superstar was given the cold shoulder in the IPL 2022 mega auction, going unsold. Never known to be a batter to tee-off from the word go, Smith has over time become adept at the anchor role, while others around him do the big-hitting. During IPL 2021, Smith played eight matches, scoring 152 runs at a strike-rate of 112.59. In the T20 World Cup, in four innings, Smith scored just 69 runs at a strike-rate of 97.18.
But now the 33-year-old has been given the license to go out there and take the attack to the bowlers.
"I'm pretty excited that tag's been taken off, to be honest with you," Smith told cricket.com.au ahead of Australia's Sri Lanka tour-opening T20I in Colombo.
"Diva (stand-in coach Michael di Venuto) actually told me the other day … he said 'we're getting rid of that tag, that's gone. Just go out and play freely. If you want to smack your first or second ball for six, go for it'.
"And I'm like, 'yeah, that's cool'.
"So now it's just about going out and playing freely and trusting my instincts, which I think I've done well over any format for a long time, instead of being a bit more reserved and trying not to get out, which I don't think the right way to play T20 cricket," said the right-hander.
"They've got rid of that 'Mr. Fix-it' tag."
It will be interesting to see how Smith goes about his job now. Fans could get to see him in his new role later today when Australia face hosts Sri Lanka in the first T20I in Colombo.