Mohali: Australia`s young batsman Steve Smith Thursday said he has vastly improved as a player since he was dropped from the team after the Ashes defeat at home 26 months ago.
"I`ve probably always been more of a batsman than I was a bowler. I think I`ve improved a lot in the last 12 to 18 months," Smith said here.
The 23-year-old was set to make his sixth Test appearance at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium here Thursday, but rain played spoil sport as the first day`s play was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Smith said he made a couple of changes to his technique that made him more stable.
"I`ve changed a couple of things with my technique that have made me a bit more stable at the crease, a bit more balanced and more selective as well. I feel like I`m tightening my technique up quite a bit and I feel as if I`ve been playing spin really well on this trip in the nets and previously as well. I`m looking forward to getting out there and having a crack in the middle and hopefully I`ll be successful," he said.
He has trained hard for the tour and was now looking forward to the Test match.
"I`ve been training very hard this tour. There`s been quite a few of us on the sidelines and we`ve got a good chance to get in the nets and work on our skills at those times. I feel like I`ve done that and feel I`m going really well at the moment. To be back in the XI is very exciting and I`m looking forward to hopefully getting some play tomorrow," he said.
He feels he is more of a batsman than a bowler.
"The first two Tests I played, I played as a bowler. It`s a bit different now to come in as a No.5 specialist batter and that`s something I`ve worked really hard on in the last couple of years, becoming more balanced and getting big runs. I`m excited about coming out in this Test as a batter and hopefully I`ll be able to get a few out in the middle as well," said the all-rounder.
Smith said he didn`t get much chance bowling for New South Wales in the last year or two.
"At NSW we`ve got Steve O`Keefe and young Adam Zampa coming through as a leg-spinner. I haven`t had to do a hell of a lot of bowling in the last year or two. It`s still something that I do work on pretty hard in the nets. In this game the wicket looks pretty dry so there could be a chance to roll a few leggies out in the second innings if there`s a bit of rough," he said.
First Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013, 18:17