SYDNEY, March 26 (PTI): Australia captain Michael Clarke couldn�t stop praising Steve Smith for his match-winning ton against India in the World Cup semifinal, saying that talented batsman would continue scoring big.
�I can�t speak highly enough for the way he�s (Smith) batting at the moment. He�s showing his class. But most importantly, I think the one thing I�ve learnt through my career is getting into good form and scoring runs is a fantastic feeling, but still, to go to training the next day to work on your game. That�s what makes you a great player, and that�s what I�ve been really proud with Smithy (nickname),� Clarke said at the post match media conference with the man-of-the-match centurion by his side.
Clarke said that he is not one bit surprised with Smith�s form.
�I can�t say I�m surprised he�s getting the results he�s getting as he is training hard. He has earned it. I think there�s no doubt that there�s a long, long way to go in his career. There�s a lot more runs to score, but he�s certainly leading the way at the moment. He�s standing up and he�s certainly made the most of the opportunity he�s got at No. 3 in One Day cricket,� Clarke lavished praise on his deputy.
Smith, who was sitting beside him was asked if the Indian bowlers played it into his hands by bowling to his strengths, Smith didn�t agree.
�I don�t think so. For me, it was just about giving myself an opportunity to get in, and I got a few freebies early on, a couple of short ones that probably weren�t quite short enough. I got a few boundaries and that really got my innings started. From there, I just tried to play each ball on its merit and I was lucky enough to go at just over run-a-ball. It was nice to have a partnership there with Aaron Finch, as well, to set a foundation for us to go quite hard at the end.�
Smith was also asked about the secret of being able to rotate his strike with effortless ease and he attributed it to the hardwork put at the nets.
�I think it�s just doing the same thing in the nets. We face bowlers so much in the nets, you have to try and get your angles right and try, particularly for spinners, baiting the fielders in close to get the ball down to long on or long off, or out to deep square leg or deep point.�