Smith aims to shake dasher tag
KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Dwayne Smith says he is enjoying his second coming in international cricket and has pushed back on the widely held belief that he is simply a dasher.
“I believe I am much more than just a six-hitter. I spoke to the coach and a few team-mates when I came back into the team and everyone offered good advice,” said the 29-year-old Barbadian.
“I speak a lot to Fidel (Edwards), as we play for the same club team, and he told me ‘you don’t have to try anything special, you have it all in you’. I know once I look to get myself in and build an innings, I can make-up at the back-end of the innings.”
Batting at Number 3, Smith stroked an exciting unbeaten 65 off 77 balls in the first One-Day International on Thursday as West Indies cruised to an easy nine-wicket win over New Zealand at Sabina Park.
The innings characterised Smith’s new approach to batting in recent months, as he carefully went about constructing his innings, mixing defense with aggression. It was Smith’s second highest score in ODI cricket following the 68 he made in Sri Lanka seven years ago. He also reached 1,000 career runs in the process.
“My goal is to be consistent and provide runs for the team whenever I go to the wicket. That’s what I’m working on at the moment – consistency – and I believe I am making some progress in that direction,” the right-hander said.
“I have been given a chance at the top of the order and I want to make full use of it. Up here you get a chance to settle in and build an innings, so that works for me quite fine.
“I made a decision to move to the top order to give myself a chance. The selectors have put their faith in me and I have received a lot of support from everyone around. I am relaxed and in a good frame of mind. I am in a good environment and I’m focussed.”
On the tour of England last month, Smith stroked two half-centuries – 56 in the opening ODI at Southampton and 70 in the one-off Twenty20 International at Nottingham. He said his form was as a result of maturity and understanding his role in the team.
“I’m more experienced now and have a good understanding of what is required,” said Smith who scored a century on Test debut against South Africa nine years ago before his career tailed off.
“I know my role in the team and that is primarily to dig in and get good runs on the board. I can clear the boundary, but I also want to show I can play quality innings and can get runs consistently.”
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