Australia keep faith in Smith as opener

Australia keep faith in smith as opener0

Steve Smith’s debut as a Test opener may not have gone as planned, but Australia coach Andrew McDonald said he had the team’s full backing and that it would take time for him to establish a rapport with Usman Khawaja at the top of the order.

Smith, who was promoted from number four when David Warner retired, scored 12 and 11 not out in Australia’s series opener against the West Indies, which the country won in seven sessions.

Warner and Khawaja had played junior cricket together and had terrific connection at the top of the order, and McDonald said that Australia would allow the new opening duo to build the same relationship.

“I suppose it’s more just the connection of Usman and Smudge (Smith) over time,” McDonald went on to say.

“We’ve witnessed Davey and Usman’s relationship and the alliances that they’ve been able to form.

“They are world-class performers at the top of the order, and we believe Steve Smith is one of the finest problem solvers in the game.

“We’ve said that leading into this and it makes sense for us that he’s at the top.”

West Indies fast bowler Shamar Joseph, who made his Test debut in Adelaide, removed Smith with his first delivery in international cricket and finished with 5-94 in the first innings.

Another debutant, Justin Greaves, grabbed 2-36, but McDonald was hopeful that Australian batsmen will do better in the day-night second Test in Brisbane, which begins on Thursday, now that they are more accustomed with the new West Indies attack.

“Sight unseen is always difficult for batters, when you haven’t seen someone and gotten used to their rhythm and the cues they present,” McDonald went on to say.

“Sometimes you are pulled into shots that you may not play.

“We feel as though now that there’s less unknowns going into the second Test match, we’ve had a good look at them, a lot of those little decision-making errors that may have crept in I think will iron themselves out.”

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