Tim Paine: Opposition Teams Welcome Steven Smith as Opener

Tim Paine: Opposition Teams Welcome Steven Smith as Opener

Former Australian captain Tim Paine believes that opposition teams will be delighted to see Steven Smith continue opening the batting, despite his underwhelming start in the role. However, Paine does not anticipate any changes to the batting order for the upcoming India series.

Paine remains optimistic about Smith’s ability to succeed as an opener, despite his struggles in New Zealand, where he managed only 51 runs at an average of 12.75. However, he acknowledges that Smith’s new position may not instill the same level of fear in bowlers.

“If I was playing against Australia, I would want Steve Smith to open the batting,” Paine said. “I want my best bowlers at their freshest with a brand new ball. When he was at his best batting at four, you just felt he couldn’t get out.”

Smith’s promotion to the top of the order has allowed Cameron Green to return to his preferred position at No. 4, where he impressed with an unbeaten 174 in the first Test at Wellington.

Head coach Andrew McDonald has defended Smith’s early returns, arguing that it is unfair to judge him based on just four Tests. Australia’s next Test assignment will be against India in late November, who could potentially field a formidable pace attack featuring Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Mohammed Siraj.

“I don’t think anything changes,” Paine said of Australia’s batting order. “Smith has earned the right to bat wherever he wants. If he is driven enough to be Australia’s Test opener, I think he’ll make it work.”

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