Smith eyes Ashes chance
Steve Smith admits he faces an uphill battle to oust Nathan Hauritz as Australia's first-choice spinner.
Last Updated: 09/11/10 11:04am
Steve Smith admits he faces an uphill battle to oust Nathan Hauritz as Australia's first-choice spinner for the Ashes opener.
Leg-spinner Smith made his Test debut in July against Pakistan when off-spinner Hauritz was injured.
But he lost out to his fit-again New South Wales team-mate on the tour of India in October.
The first Ashes Test starts in Brisbane on November 25 and Australia's selectors name their squad on Monday.
Ahead of that announcement, Smith has a chance to impress for his state against Victoria at the SCG this week before heading to Hobart to play for Australia A against England next Wednesday.
"I guess there's always been that rivalry with me and Nathan," he said.
"We're good mates and it helps us get along, it gives us that urge to do well.
"Hopefully I'll get the chance to bowl in tandem with him a bit out here (at the SCG against Victoria) and have a bit of fun.
"Nathan's been touted as the number one spinner at the moment and he's been bowling really well I think.
"It's just I guess for me in these next couple of games to come out there and do the best I can with both bat and ball and keep staking my claims that way.
"(And) I'm looking forward to playing for Australia A hopefully and doing well down there and maybe staking my claims for Adelaide and Sydney if there's a chance of playing a second spinner."
Smith has been starved of competitive bowling in recent months due to inclement weather in India during the one-day series and a back injury that flared up during the recent matches against Sri Lanka.
Despite a lack of match practice with the ball, Smith believes he has made significant improvements to his bowling during the off-season after shortening his run-up.
"I've felt real good, I've changed a couple of little things but I feel really good and the ball's coming out good," he added.
"I've taken one step off my run-up which has kept me quite slow at the crease and gives me a lot better shape on the ball, so it's working really well at the moment and hopefully I'll be able to trial it out here a little bit in these games."