Even though his T20 numbers are not that great, Steve Smith brings a lot to the table for Australia. The Kangaroos would have desperately wanted Smith in the T20 World Cup squad. However, according to Smith, who is recovering from a wrist injury, he will always prioritise Test cricket. With Ashes lined up after the T20 World Cup, Smith says he is ready to skip the showpiece event in UAE to be fully fit for the Ashes series against England. The 32-year-old had withdrawn from the upcoming white-ball tours to West Indies and Bangladesh.
“There’s still a bit of time between now and (the World Cup), and I’m tracking okay at the moment -– it’s slow, but I’m going okay,” Smith told cricket.com.au on Friday.
The T20 World Cup is all set to get underway from October 17, with the final being played on November 14, in UAE. The Ashes is scheduled to begin on December 8 in Brisbane. With Smith ready to miss the T20 World Cup, it is almost certain that he won’t be returning for the second leg of IPL, which will be played just before the T20 World Cup in UAE.
“I’d love to be part of the World Cup, for sure. But from my point of view, Test cricket, that’s my main goal -– to be right for the Ashes and try to emulate what I’ve done in the last few Ashes series I’ve been involved in,” Smith said.
After a year-long ban due to his role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, Smith made his international return in previous Ashes. He amassed 774 runs in four Tests at an average of 110.57, including two hundreds. He said he is keen to replicate his performance in the upcoming Ashes.
“I want to put myself in a position where I can have that kind of impact,” he said.
“If that does mean not partaking in the World Cup, then we’ll have to go down that path, but hopefully we don’t have to go there.”
Smith exaggerated his wrist injury in the first leg of IPL. He revealed he took painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication to curb his pain.
“I’ve made a bit of progress with it the last few weeks. I started some batting, just 10 minutes at a time, and basically my path now to getting back to playing is building up from there,” he said.
“Because it’s a tendon (injury), it’s basically how you (feel when you) wake up the next day, so I start at 10 minutes and if I wake up the next day and I’m good, then I can go up to 12 minutes, and if I wake up well again, I go up to 15.
“Currently that’s where I’m at –- 15 minutes -– and I’ve got to build up to 45 to get myself to a point where the medicos believe I can be comfortable.”