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Steve Smith ready to not play in T20 World Cup if needed to be fit for the Ashes: Test cricket is my main goal

04 Jul 2021

Australia batsman Steve Smith said that he is ready to give the T20 World Cup a miss this year to be fit for the Ashes. Smith, who is in rehabilitation for tennis elbow, said that while he would like to be part of the World Cup squad, Test cricket remains his priority.

"There's still a bit of time between now and (the T20 World Cup), and I'm tracking okay at the moment - it's slow, but I'm going okay," Smith told cricket.com.au.

"I'd love to be part of the World Cup, for sure, but from my point of view, Test cricket, that's my main goal - to be right for the Ashes and try to emulate what I've done in the last few Ashes series I've been involved in," he said.

Australia will host the Ashes this year with the first Test set to be held from December 8 at the Gabba in Brisbane. Smith has scored 2800 runs in the 11 Ashes Tests over the course of his career at an average of 65.11 with 11 centuries.

The 2019 Ashes marked Smith's return to Test cricket after he was banned for the 2018 ball tampering scandal and the former Australia captain went on overdrive, piling on 774 runs in seven innings.

Smith said that he was not fully fit during the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL), in which he scored 104 runs in six matches for the Delhi Capitals.

"I still wasn't quite 100 per cent (during the IPL), it was still bothering me a bit, and I was playing over there medicated taking some painkillers and anti-inflammatories every time I batted. It got to a point where it wasn't really improving much, and it probably got a little bit worse while I was over there," he said.

Matches

Bangladesh tour of South Africa 2022

2nd Test, Gqeberha, 08-12 Apr 2022

SA SA
453/10 & 176/6 dec (. ov)
Ban Ban
217/10 & 80/10 (. ov) (Target 413

South Africa won by 332 runs

Australia tour of Pakistan 2022

Only T20I (N), Lahore, 05 April, 2022

Pak Pak
162/8 & / (20. ov)
Aus Aus
163/7 & / (19.1 ov) (Target

Australia won by 3 wickets

Netherlands tour of New Zealand 2022

3rd ODI (D/N), Hamilton, 04 Apr 2022

NZ NZ
333/8 & / (50. ov)
Neth Neth
218/10 & / (42.3 ov) (Target

New Zealand won by 115 runs

Bangladesh tour of South Africa 2022

1st Test, Durban, 31 Mar - 04 Apr 202

SA SA
367/10 & 204/10 (. ov)
Ban Ban
298/10 & 53/10 (. ov) (Target 274

South Africa won by 220 runs