Being a full-time Big Bash player could be in Steve Smith‘s future, but the star batter has reiterated he’s “not going anywhere” for some time ahead of his return to the Sydney Sixers.
Smith has already begun plotting the technical tweaks he’ll need to employ to be successful in two huge series in India and England this year and has no thoughts of ending his time in a baggy green anytime soon.
Having been denied the chance to play for the Sixers at the back-end of last year’s BBL due to administrative red tape, Smith has four games to play, and possibly one final, before heading to India for four Tests.
He’s confident the swift way the Aussies wrapped up four Tests against the West Indies and then South Africa, with the SCG match derailed by rain, wouldn’t impact their ability to go toe-to-toe with India.
Nine of the Test team from Sydney will enjoy a short stint in the BBL before travelling to the subcontinent on January 31, and Smith said any cricket was useful preparation.
“I don’t think it makes a huge difference. Guys had plenty of time on their legs, we go into the rhythm of playing red-ball cricket,” he said on Thursday.
“Playing in the subcontinent is a completely different beast. You never know, they could be quick games over there.
“We’re going to be prepared. It should be a good six months of cricket really with India then the Ashes – as Australians, they are the biggest hurdles.
“Playing longer-form cricket in the lead-up would be more ideal for that preparation, but it’s also a good chance to get a few white-ball games in.”
Smith will acquaint himself with new Test squad member Todd Murphy during his stint with the Sixers, already excited about what the 22-year-old spinner can offer.
The quality of slow bowlers travelling to India should also mean Smith doesn’t have to roll his arm over, the part-time leg-spinner taking a pot shot at Test teammate Marnus Labuschagne, who went for 20 runs off one over in his return to the Big Bash on Wednesday night.
“Did you see the last over I bowled in Sydney?” Smith said, referring to an ugly effort against South Africa.
“Although after Marnus’ over last night (in the BBL), I’ve probably gone back in front of him. We’ve got a lot of spinners.”
Smith said he didn’t have the answer to how to get Test stars for longer stints in the Big Bash, and while he can see a time when he plays full-time when he hangs up his baggy green, it won’t be soon.
“It’s a lot easier on the mind and body. Certainly, something I’ll be looking at potentially when I finish up,” he said.
“But I’ve still got a lot of cricket left in me.
“I’m not going anywhere for the time being, I’m really excited by what’s coming up and I feel like I am in a good place.”