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regular-article-logo Sunday, 03 March 2024

Steve Smith not follow David Warner into Test retirement, says Warren Craig

Warner expresses his desire for a Sydney farewell after third and final Test against Pakistan, starting from January 3, 2024

Our Bureau Sydney Published 08.12.23, 08:27 AM
In a picture shared on X, Steve Smith attempts            to stop a ball during practice

In a picture shared on X, Steve Smith attempts to stop a ball during practice Stock Photographer

Steve Smith will not follow his teammate David Warner into Test retirement as the former Australian captain thinks he can still achieve a lot more, clarified Warren Craig, his long-time manager.

Warner had expressed his desire for a Sydney farewell after the third and final Test against Pakistan, starting from January 3, 2024. There have been talks about Smith following suit after a below par season this year against India and England.

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While the New South Welshman’s overall average remains the best among contemporary batsmen — 9320 runs from 102 Tests at an average of 58.61 with 32 hundreds — he has struggled for big runs this season.

However, Craig did not buy into the floating rumours.

“I can debunk that (retirement) at this point in time. He’s still talking about things he wants to achieve,” Craig was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.

The 34-year-old top-order batter has achieved every trophy during his illustrious career, including the Ashes (thrice), ODI World Cup (2015 and 2023), T20 World Cup (2021) and the World Test Championship (2023).

But this year, he has managed only 518 runs across 17 innings at an average of 34.53. But standing very close to becoming the fourth Australian batter to score 10000 Test runs, Smith might not want to miss that chance.

Allan Border, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh are the Aussie players to have crossed that landmark.

Smith was also in decent form during the recently concluded ODI World Cup in India, scoring 302 runs from 10 innings at an average of 33.55 with two fifties.

However, former Australia captain Mark Taylor offered a word of caution
to Smith.

“It doesn’t mean they’re done (in mid-30s), but normally you’ve seen their best by then. The early-30s would be the purple patch for most players,” he told SMH.

Smith’s next international assignment will be the three-match Test series against Pakistan, followed by an all-format tour by the West Indies from January 17. Australia will then head to New Zealand for two Tests and a T20I series from February 21.

If he can reignite the spark in his batting in the upcoming assignments, there is no reason for Smith to hang up his pads at this moment.

With inputs from PTI

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