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Smith disappointed in one-day form

Cricket

Steve Smith will stay at No.4 for the remainder of the one-day series against England, but the Australian captain says he needs to recapture his own form at the crease.

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Smith dropped down from No.3 in Sunday’s 16-run loss to England at the SCG, in a bid to add more stability to the middle order after late-innings disappointments plagued Australia’s first two losses of the series.

The batting maestro hit 45 from 66 and combined in two half-century stands with Aaron Finch and Mitch Marsh on Sunday, before Australia again failed to up the tempo late in their attempted chase of 6-302.

“I think I’ll probably do it for the rest of the series,” Smith said, after having batted at No.3 since mid-2016.

“It was about me trying to control the middle with the spinners and just keep getting off strike.

“Tonight I wasn’t good enough at that. I should have been up around a run a ball and it would have made things a bit easier at the back end.”

Smith has been his own harshest critic this series, after scores of 23 and 18 in the first two matches as Australia fell to their worst start of the home one-day summer since 2001-02.

The 28-year-old found the boundary just once in his innings, before he was controversially given out caught behind following four minutes of third umpire replays to determine if the ball had carried to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

In an uncharacteristic run, Smith has now gone five innings without a half-century, his longest run since January 2016 – some 32 matches ago.

“I’m not sure what it is, I’m not watching the ball closely enough or something like that,” he said.

“I don’t know what it is, but not many balls were hitting the middle of my bat which was disappointing … I’m just shanking it a little bit.

“Something to look at for Adelaide (on Friday). Hopefully, I can do it a lot better and start helping this team win some games of cricket.”

– AAP

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