Due to Mitchell Marsh’s injury, Steven Smith will bat at No. 3 against India. However, his place in Australia’s first-choice XI in the run-up to the men’s T20 World Cup will be flexible.
Australia will be missing three of their top six players for the three-match series against India, which begins on Tuesday in Mohali. These players are Mitchell Marsh, David Warner, and Marcus Stoinis. Mitchell Starc is also on the sidelines with a niggle. With only nine matches remaining before beginning their championship defense against New Zealand at home, Australia will build their team differently out of necessity.
Smith has only batted at No. 3 in T20Is once in the past 12 matches he has played in the last two years. Marsh was also left out for structural balance when Australia chose a fifth specialist bowler against England in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Since then, Smith has batted no higher than No. 4, regardless of Marsh’s availability, with his long-standing role as a floating “Mr Fix it,” who would join early if wickets were lost in the powerplay, abandoned in favor of a more permanent berth in the middle order.
However, his lack of attack power in the middle order has cast doubt on his place in Australia’s World Cup squad, especially after Tim David was added to the squad. Smith has only batted eight times in his previous 12 games, with a strike rate of 107.20, down from his already mediocre career T20 strike rate of 125.27.
Aaron Finch said on Monday that Smith would most likely bat at No. 3 in the series against India, reiterating Australia’s belief in Smith’s ability as a versatile cog in the lineup.