Australian cricketer Steve Smith has quashed rumors of his Test retirement, asserting that he has no intention of stepping away from the game at this point. He expressed bewilderment over how these speculations about his Test future came into circulation.
The rumors were sparked when former England captain Michael Vaughan mentioned in media reports that he had heard talks about Smith and David Warner considering retirement from Test cricket after the fifth and final Ashes 2023 match at The Oval.
During a conversation with reporters at the conclusion of the second day’s play in the final Ashes Test on July 28, Smith took the opportunity to dispel any uncertainty regarding his retirement plans.
He firmly stated, “I’m not retiring. I have no idea (where it’s come from) because I haven’t said it to anyone. I am not going anywhere yet.”
Despite his outstanding career, the 34-year-old experienced a less consistent run in Ashes 2023, failing to register a century at Lord’s and having underwhelming performances in the other three Tests leading up to The Oval.
However, on the second day of the final Test, Smith’s resilience shone through as he top-scored with 71 off 123 balls, helping Australia recover from a precarious 185/7 to post 295 in their first innings.
Reflecting on his recent batting displays, the right-handed batter expressed contentment with his performance, noting, “I felt pretty good. Today is the best I have batted maybe outside of the Test Championship (final). I would have liked more runs (on this tour) of course but two hundreds in six games for the winter here, I think it’s reasonable.”
Notably, Smith scored a crucial 121 in the WTC final against India, where Australia secured a victory by 209 runs.
As Australia resumed their first innings on Day 2 at 61/1 in response to England’s 283, they encountered a series of wicket losses, finding themselves at a challenging 185/7. However, a strong lower-order fightback lifted them to a total of 295, giving them a slender 12-run lead.
Smith expressed disappointment in the lack of application from the batters
On Day 2, emphasizing the need for partnerships to be converted into bigger scores, saying, “A lot of us got starts and weren’t able to capitalize and go and put one of those partnerships that were 40 or 50 into 100-150 to give us a decent lead. So a bit disappointing from that aspect. I would have liked a few more partners to maybe stick around and be able to just play normally for a while.”
In addition to Smith’s vital half-century in the first innings, contributions from Pat Cummins (36) and Todd Murphy (34) were also significant for Australia.
The match remained finely poised, with both teams vying for supremacy in the final encounter of the Ashes series.
In conclusion, Steve Smith made it unequivocally clear that he is not contemplating Test retirement, dispelling rumors that had been circulating recently.
As one of Australia’s most experienced batters, he acknowledged his decent performance in the Ashes 2023 series, particularly his impressive innings on the second day of the final Test. With the competition finely balanced, fans eagerly await further action in the gripping series.