Sunday, June 16, 2024

Ashes 2023: ‘Before the first innings, I really struggle to sleep’, reveals Steve Smith about his pre-match rituals

Australian batter Steve Smith has revealed his pre-match rituals, saying that he struggles to sleep before the first innings of a Test match and visualises about the approach and plan of the opposition bowlers.

In the ongoing Ashes 2023 series against England, the Australian didn’t have a great outing in the opening Test. However, he redeemed himself in the first innings of the second Test at Lord’s Test by scoring his 32nd century.

With his historic century, the right-hander batter achieved a couple of notable milestones. He became the fastest player to score 9,000 runs in Test cricket and also crossed 15,000 international runs.

“Before the first innings, I really struggle to sleep. I visualize all the bowlers coming at me, what they are going to do, and how I am going to try and score. It is not ideal, but yeah, got a bit of sleep last night,” Smith told former England skipper Kevin Pietersen on Sky Sports.

The 34-year-old expressed his fondness for batting in England, highlighting the favorable conditions for batters due to the fast outfield, which allows them to receive good rewards for their shots.

“I just go about it, and Ashes series, big games, you want to perform in those ones. So, I get myself up for these challenges, and I like playing in these conditions. Once you get yourself in on these English wickets, the boundaries are fast, you get good value for your shots, particularly here at Lord’s,” said Smith.

With the help of Smith’s scintillating knock of 110 off 184 balls, Australia posted an imposing 416 runs in their first innings after being asked to bat first.



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