Steve Smith to lead bold and beautiful era of Aussie cricket
NEW South Wales bowling all-rounder Trent Copeland believes his state teammate and stand-in national captain Steve Smith can take Australian cricket to new levels with his bold batting and leadership approach.
Copeland, currently sidelined with a back stress fracture, looked on with awe as Smith compiled a mature 133 from 191 deliveries, against the Indian attack at the Gabba on day three.
Smith is part of a new generation of Australian players - including David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood - who are all in their 20s, and who play a high-energy brand of cricket.
"If you look at this team there's a bunch of guys coming through who are all around about the same age, and the style they play is bold, aggressive and fearless," Copeland told APN.
"Steve Smith can be the leader of that group with the way he approaches his batting, and the tactical astuteness that he brings to his captaincy."
Copeland said Smith, 25, led by example with the way he batted yesterday.
"He seemed to pick his moments - when to counter-attack and when to hang in there. He's someone who seems to go through the gears well," the three-Test paceman said.
"He's got so much maturity for someone so young."
Smith has come a long way in the way he's developed that maturity with the bat, since he made his Test debut against Pakistan in 2010.
Many observers saw a tremendously talented cricketer back then, but one who may have batted with too much audacity and aggressiveness at the time.
Copeland has seen his Blues teammate work tirelessly on fixing that area of his game.
"He (Smith) is someone who never shies away from the tough stuff at training - whether the pacemen are charging in with a new ball, or if the batting deck is green - he's the first one out there," Copeland said.
"And we saw how unselfish he was in the first Test in Adelaide when he was batting with Mitch Marsh - Mitch was scoring quick runs, so Steve just kept taking singles."
- Josh Spasaro at the Gabba