Former Australia captain Steve Smith, who is serving a 12-month ban in international cricket has finally made his way back to cricket. He is playing for Toronto Nationals in the Global T20 Canada Tournament.
Smith has played his opening game on Thursday against Vancouver Knights and scored 61 runs off just 41 balls in his comeback match. He also led his side to a comfortable victory by 6 wickets after chasing a mammoth target of 228 runs in the end.
The former Aussie skipper talked about his strange feeling after coming to the crease:
“I was making horrible decisions and I just felt horrible at the crease. I think it all comes down to the mental part of the game and I put so much into the Ashes that it took so much out of me. A bit of a break perhaps isn’t the worst thing. Hopefully, I’ll be able to come back and perform at a really high-level gain, but we’ll see what happens.”
In his return to competitive cricket, the 29-year-old didn’t take long to hit the ground running as he smashed eight fours and a six in his knock to help his side. But, Smith admitted he was nervous at the crease for the very first time in his career.
“I normally don’t get real nervous before I play but I’ll be real honest, I was a bit nervous today. You know, three months off and I haven’t hit that many balls back home, I’ve had a couple of nets but I haven’t had a hit on turf. A hit indoors yesterday and it felt pretty good and had a bit of luck today and I didn’t feel as good as I probably ever had, but it’s nice to score some runs when you’re not feeling good. Hopefully some positive signs.”
Australia suffered their first-ever whitewash against England in ODIs recently, a fact that’s tough to stomach for many Australian fans, none bigger than the former skipper who described the experience as ‘down’ and ‘hurting’.
“I’ve been up and down with my emotions if I’m being honest. I’ve had times, particularly watching the boys play in England, and not play as well as they could have and England play extremely well, it was hurting me that I couldn’t go out and help them, help them win games. And when they hopped on the plane to go over there I had some emotions that were a bit down. It’s been tough,” Smith concluded.