ANI Photo | Steve Smith hopes to “get into a nice groove” against South Africa for Test series

Australia is in excellent shape heading into their upcoming match against South Africa after sweeping West Indies 2-0. Stand-in skipper Steve Smith believes their only genuine issue is that their bottom middle order wasn’t tested in the just-finished series.
Australia declared against West Indies in all four of their innings, losing only 19 wickets overall. They won the first Test in Perth by 164 runs and the pink-ball Test in Adelaide by a much larger margin of 419 runs.
Smith’s statistics against South Africa lag a little behind some of the best Test nations he has faced; he averages 41.53, has scored 623 runs in 17 innings, and has hit one hundred and three fifties.
“I don’t think there are any concerns. It’s probably not ideal that a few of our batters from six onwards haven’t had a great deal of time in the middle. That is probably the only real concern if you want to call it that. But they are also spending a lot of time in the nets batting and batting well. It’s been a good series for us. We have played good cricket and hopefully we can take that into South Africa,” said Smith at the post-match press conference following Australia’s victory on Sunday.

“South Africa are probably the one team that have bowled well to me. My record isn’t quite as good against them as some of the others,” acknowledged Smith. “Some of the bowlers I will come up against I have come up against previously. I am really looking forward to the series like everyone else. Hopefully, I can get into a nice groove and contribute and score some runs.
“I feel in a good place, I feel like I am batting nicely. I feel in good rhythm and I am looking forward to it. I had a hit against the red ball this morning, preparing, and changing from pink to red. Focus can now completely go to South Africa and I can’t wait,” he said.
In their quest to qualify for the ICC World Test Championship final at The Oval next year, both nations view the three-match series against South Africa as important.
Australia increased their lead at the top of the World Test Championship standings with a convincing 2-0 series sweep of the West Indies, while South Africa maintained the second position.
Australia squad for first Test v South Africa: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Michael Neser, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and David Warner. (ANI)

This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.

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