Former Australian skipper Greg Chappell has said that young all-rounder Steven Smith has the talent needed to help Australia regain the Ashes, after his match winning performance in the Caribbean.
Chappell worked with Smith at Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence last winter and he believes his talent extends well beyond the Twenty20 arena.
Smith (20) bowled Australia into the semi-finals of the World T20 with an impressive haul of 3-20 against the West Indies in St Lucia.
Chappell predicted that Smith’s entry to Test cricket could more closely emulate that of Richie Benaud than of Shane Warne.
Smith boasts a first-class batting average of 56.22 in 13 games, which suggests that by batting in the top seven he could co-exist in the Test team with established off-spinner Nathan Hauritz, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
“He is part of the Ashes plans in my view. In Australia, through the history of cricket, good wrist-spin bowling has been very successful and I think he has the capabilities to do that, and it gives you the opportunity to play two spinners,” Chappell said.
“Remember that Richie Benaud played for three or four years as a batsman predominantly, and bowled the odd over here or there. I can see Steve Smith doing that in the early days of his career,” Chappell added.
Chappell has encouraged Smith to develop all facets of his game rather than concentrate on one or the other, and regards him as precisely the kind of cricketer the selectors should promote across all formats. (ANI)