Smith’s bowling days are over

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Australia skipper Steve Smith has said that his days of playing a part with the ball are now over as he seeks to focus on scoring runs and leading the team.

Smith debuted as a leg-spinning allrounder with a frog-in-a-blender style action but has since established himself as one of the leading top-order batsmen in all three formats.

The runs he scores in the middle-order will be vital if Australia are to reclaim the Ashes this summer.

Speaking at the launch of his book, Journey, Smith said: “I certainly could bowl if need be. I’d prefer not to.

“Bowling leg spin, it takes a lot of time. For me to get a rhythm that I need, it’s about bowling for so long and I like to focus on my batting.

“And when I’m not batting, I like to watch the nets and ensure guys are training the right way — watching them prepare and giving them advice.

“Then I obviously have to do my catching work. Slips catching this summer is going to be really important.

“If we hold our catches it’s going to go a long way. I’ve got to do all those things and it’s just not possible to do everything with the things I want to do around the team.”

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Smith is comfortable being skipper across all three formats, even though the past year or so has seen him skip some short format series to make sure he is at his best for big series.

He would add: “At the moment while I’m playing all three forms I feel very comfortable in doing it.

“There might be a point somewhere down the track where I wake up and I just want to freshen up and maybe not even play one form.”

Smith will lead Australia in the first Ashes Test against England in Brisbane, with the match set to get underway on November 23.