London: Australian leg-spinner Steven Smith is set to make his Test debut in next week’s opening Test against Pakistan at Lord’s.
If selected, he will enjoy the rare honour for an Australian of debuting at the home of cricket, and becoming the nation’s first spinner to do so since Hugh Trumble in 1890.
Smith’s parents and elder sister will be in London to watch him play his maiden Test, but he insists that the presence of his family “will be just fine”.
“I’m not really the nervous type. It’s just about going out there and you’re there for a reason,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Smith, as saying.
The 21-year-old has spent some time at the MCG nets with his childhood idol Shane Warne, and said that he has provided him with some valuable insights on the mental side of the game.
“I’ve had a few talks with him about that sort of thing -working out batsmen and working out the batter’s triggers, different wickets and the ways you need to adapt,” Smith said.
“He’s been outstanding for me. He’s the best spin bowler that’s ever walked on the earth. He’s one of a kind and he’s just a genius,” he added.
Earlier, former Australia captain Steve Waugh had said that Smith has the potential to be the country’s No.1 spinner, as he is one of the most promising cricketers to have come forward in the last 20 years.
“I think Steve Smith is one of the most promising cricketers we have seen in Australia in the past 20 years,” Waugh had said.
“I think he could be the No.1 spinner. You have to give him a little bit of time, I mean leg-spin is a tough art. We have been really spoilt by Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill and people forget Stuart MacGill was a terrific spinner as well,” he added.
The former captain had also praised him for the impact he made with both bat and ball in the ODI series against England.