Australian swashbuckling batsman Steve Smith has said that he is focussing on getting used to the bouncy conditions at the Gabba in Brisbane ahead of the opening Test of the two-match series against Pakistan, beginning November 21 at the venue.
The 30-year-old has enjoyed a terrific year so far, having amassed 1,299 runs--including three centuries and nine fifties-- at an average of 72.16 in just 20 appearances he made for Australia.
However, Smith has failed to click with the bat recently at the Gabba, dismissing for duck and 21 for New South Wales in the Marsh Sheffield Shield clash against Queensland. The top-ranked batsman's last two hundreds for New South Wales came on slow and low pitches at Drummoyne Oval and Sydney Cricket Ground.
Being well-aware that Pakistan consist of some highly-rated battery of fast bowlers, Smith is focusing on adapting the bouncy wicket and tuning up for the lively track ahead of Thursday's clash.
"I'm feeling good. For me, the next few days is about getting used to the bounce at the Gabba and practising leaving (the ball) well, and just being patient again. I'm sure I'll get plenty of that work in, and be good to go on Thursday," cricket.com.au quoted Smith as saying.
"I probably just have to try and get used to the bounce of the wicket again at the Gabba.It's probably a little bit different to the last two Shield games I've played at Drummoyne and SCG, where they've been pretty benign wickets. I don’t think I had a slip in basically for the whole time I batted at Drummoyne and the SCG," he added.
Smith admitted that he found it hard scoring at the Gabba as there was no slip and the wicket was also pretty dead.
"I just found it hard scoring. There was no slip, there was a ring field, the square was pretty dead, and the wicket was pretty dead. There was a couple of times I hit and got it in the gap and thought 'that's runs", but it just died. So I couldn't get them away, but it's nice to spend some time in the middle all the same," he concluded.