Aus likely to reshuffle their batting order against Pak


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WEB DESK: Steve Smith candidly talks about being a T20 captain for the first time and likely strategy against Pakistan in Mohali tomorrow.

Smith says  All-rounder Watson is the player who could slide down the order if Australia were to reshuffle with their opening combination.

“I’ve seen him (Watson) bat in one-day cricket at No.5 and No.6, he’s batted in the middle order in IPL over here as well, and he’s done quite well,” Smith said. “He certainly can (bat down the order).

“Usman (Khawaja), I think, is suited to the top of the order.

“He plays just good cricket shots and scores at a pretty good rate without taking many risks.

“It depends what we want on that given day. If we want a bit of extra power and get off to an absolute flyer you’ve got options of Finch and Warner and Watson.

“And if you want just good cricket stroke play and then leave it for the middle overs and the back end, I think Usman is suited to bat for a longer period.”

Smith was named Australia’s T20 captain in February, overtaking predecessor Aaron Finch. In the five matches since his appointment, the 26-year-old has scored 89 at 17.80 with a strike rate of 114.10 and a top score of 44 against South Africa in Cape Town two weeks ago.

“I don’t feel too bad,” Smith told reporters when asked about his own form in Mohali.

“I had a pretty good net just then working on a few things and got my swing quite good so I’m pretty happy.

“(It’s) just about trying to spend a bit of time in the middle and get a score, (which) would be nice.”

“For me, I guess when I play my best I sort of have a clear mind,” he said.

“You can tell a lot of the time by what fields are set where guys are trying to bowl.

“It’s thinking that, but in the end just making sure I’m watching the ball closely and just trying to keep my mind as clear as possible and hit the ball wherever it’s to be hit, I guess,” said current ICC Player Of The Year Smith.

Source: Cricket.com