New Delhi: Australian skipper Steve Smith has continued his emphatic journey as a batsman and a leader in Test cricket, with the visitors taking control of the proceedings at Basin Reserve, Wellington, on Friday.
Smith defined his presence on the field by handling his bowlers well to get the crucial breakthroughs consistently. Aussies had a plan against the Kiwis and it worked well for Smith.
New Zealand were bowled out for a paltry 183 runs to hand the onus to the visitors.
The Aussie skipper then followed it up with a stroke-filled 71 after joining hands with an in-form Usman Khawaja to add 126 runs. Interestingly, his experience and positivity came handy, given that Australia were 5/2 when he had walked in at the crease.
Smith has kept Australia's dominance in Test cricket going strong and would hope to continue the good run. Australia come from two big home Test series wins against New Zealand and West Indies and the confidence is evident from the way the team is playing right now.
Smith has looked like a person who knows what he wants from his players and has clarified that with ease. It looks like a happy camp to be in.
On Friday, his bowlers led by Josh Hazlewood and the experienced pair of Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon delivered the goods. That will be pleasing to the skipper.
With every player chipping in with the goods, Australia look like they are nearing the pinnacle spot in the ICC Test rankings and would hope to hold on to it for a long time.