‘My claim to fame’ – Former Aussie skipper reveals he suggested Steve Smith to bat at no.3 before 2015 World Cup win – cricket

Australia’s Steve Smith is regarded as one of the best batsmen in the world across formats. The right-hander has amassed 7,227 runs in 73 Tests at an average of 62.84 with 26 hundreds and 3 double tons o his name. He has also scored 4,162 runs in 125 ODIs at an average of 42.47. Smith was a crucial figure in Australia’s 2015 World Cup-winning campaign as he was the leading run-scorer for the side in the tournament.

In 8 games, Smith scored 402 runs at average of 67 and a strike rate of 91.57. But all of this, maybe, would not have been possible without a crucial suggestion from former Australia captain George Bailey.

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Speaking on Unplayable Podcast, Bailey revealed it was he who had suggested to the team that Smith should bat at no. 3 position. “’Pup’ (Clarke) had missed heaps of one-day cricket in the lead up to the World Cup so I felt I’d had a contribution to the team and the shaping of it,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia.

“My claim to fame, and no doubt he would have ended up there anyway, (but) we’d been using Steve Smith at six or seven in the one-day team and in Zimbabwe (the previous August-September) we threw Mitch Marsh up to three in a game.

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“I made a suggestion that it should be Steve Smith (at three) because at that time Mitch could, and still can, bludgeon the ball, but I couldn’t see him batting for the full innings, where I could see ‘Smudger’ (Smith) batting for 50 overs, making those key hundreds that you could bat around.

“That recommendation was taken up and that played a huge part – Smudger was three right throughout the World Cup and hasn’t moved since.”

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