Australia v WI, 1st Test, 2022-23

Steven Smith says the technical change that unlocks his “ultimate” batting setup has been made for Test cricket, after he was slowed by a self-inflicted hip injury in Perth.

Smith looked as good as he did during his prime in an optional training session on Sunday ahead of Wednesday’s first Test against the West Indies.

The 33-year-old hit a nerve using his pso-rite, which is designed for athletes to help loosen the psoas muscle that runs from the spine to the groin.

“It was just me to be honest,” Smith said. “I was hitting myself in the psoas, trying to loosen it up and I went down a little bit and I hit a little nerve or something.” My hip is a little grumpy…but it’ll be all right.”

His technical transformation has taken a year, after he was believed to have caught his hands last summer before recently working on his feet.

In last month’s ODIs against England, Smith was particularly quiet as his typical back-and-across movement was lost.

The change comes as Smith hints at getting his technique back to where it was in 2014-15, when he averaged 128.16 against India.

In turn, he persuaded Smith to agree to Greg Chappell’s column where the former captain said Smith’s changes could make him better than before.

“The changes to longer-style cricket made me feel like I was moving a bit too far on the backfoot,” Smith said. “If you’re too far ahead, you can follow the ball if it goes away from you. Or you’re not going to be in a position where I wanted to leave the ball as well.

“Where I’m at right now is definitive for me. I feel like I don’t have to work as hard with my body and my hands to get offside. I can just play with a good flow. “

Smith’s other mark is in his pull shot. Chappell suggested that Smith’s problems came after he was overpowered by Jofra Archer in the 2019 Ashes, with bowlers such as Neil Wagner able to follow Smith’s movements.

But with his changes, Smith looks like he has opened up his options on the backfoot and is better placed to handle any bouncer barrage.

“I was still right up front. [when hit by Archer] And I was only able to help. [pull shots] Smith said, going after the square.

“I think when I hit that first pull shot. [against England] By midwicket in Adelaide it was like, ‘Wow, I’ve actually got my bottom hand back’. And then being in a position where I’m short stuff as well. I feel like I was able to get out of his way which Ollie Stone bowled really easily.”


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