Smith to bat at three in Test cricket


Steve Smith has been installed as Australia's number three batsman in Test cricket, captain Michael Clarke confirmed before the first Test against the West Indies starting in Dominica on Wednesday.

Smith inherits the role after having a stellar last 18 months with the bat, in all forms of the game, and it is hoped that he can emulate legendary Aussie batsman Ricky Ponting in making the position his own.

Since Ponting retired from Test cricket in 2012 Australia have tried a number of players in the three position which have been unsuccessful.

After having great success coming in at first drop in the World Cup, Smith will now take on the mantle in the longest format after making some telling contributions in the middle-order.

Clarke said: "Steve Smith will bat at No. 3. That was 100% me going to Smithy and having a conversation with him, and he's all for it.

"We spoke a little bit through the one-day series and the World Cup. Nothing was confirmed until we got on tour, so once he arrived I spoke to him and made it very clear where I wanted him to bat, and he's very comfortable to bat there."

The Aussies will play another Test match in the Caribbean, on 11 June in Jamaica, before going to England for the Ashes in July.