Smith’s knock of 77 puts spotlight back on North’s place in Oz team

July 24th, 2010 - 1:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Jul 24 (ANI): Young Test cricketer Steve Smith turned the spotlight back on Marcus North’s place in the team with his knock of 77 in the second Test against Pakistan in Headingley.

The 21-year-old’s display of wide range shot making at Leeds could not have come at a worse time for North, who temporarily got a reprieve with a century and 90 in New Zealand.

With Australia in trouble on Friday when North came to the crease, it was not the time for him to make a duck, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Smith’s knock at Headingley was the sort of innings that sticks in the mind and Australia need to put their batting order in line before the Ashes.

The other options at No.6 on the Australian selection panel’s radar are Usman Khawaja, George Bailey and maybe Cameron White.

Australia next have a two-match Test series in India in October and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, fitness permitting, could possibly bat at No.6 with Smith one below him.

That would allow Australia to pick three specialist seamers and two spinners in Smith and Hauritz for the subcontinent conditions.

Smith started relatively slowly on day three in Leeds as Australia tried to set Pakistan a decent total, only hitting one boundary in his first 52 balls before exploding to hit another eight boundaries and two sixes.

“I guess I came out against him a bit more positive today and tried to hit down the ground a bit more. I was lucky enough to hit a few over the fence, which was good,” Smith said. (ANI)

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