Melbourne: Top Australian batsman Steve Smith is consulting experts on how to get a better night’s sleep before cricket matches, but will be fully alert when facing his Brisbane nemesis Yasir Shah in the second test in Adelaide, according to Australia captain Tim Paine.
Smith, a brand ambassador and investor in an Australian mattress company, has revealed he was ‘an awful sleeper’ during the Ashes series in England. He has said that before the game, his mind would race with thoughts about where to hit the ball and how to play various bowlers and that would affect his sleeping habits.
Months later, on the eve of the pink-ball test against Pakistan at Adelaide Oval, Smith was still tossing and turning, Paine said.
“I know he’s working with people at Cricket Australia (CA) and elsewhere on trying to find a better night’s sleep,” Paine told reporters Friday in Adelaide.
“It’s not a great endorsement for his Koala mattress company but he’s working on trying to get better at that and trying to relax a bit more between games. I don’t think it’s an easy fix for someone who’s wired the way Steve is,” added the Australian Test skipper.
Paine confirmed Australia would have an unchanged lineup at Adelaide Oval after thrashing Pakistan by an innings and five runs in Brisbane to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
The Tasmanian was thrilled how the re-jigged top six performed at the Gabba, with all the specialist batsmen getting runs except Smith, who was bowled for four by leg-spinner Yasir.
Smith’s cheap dismissal was a rare highlight for Pakistan in Brisbane, and Yasir Shah celebrated by holding up seven fingers to show the amount of times he has taken the former Australian captain’s wicket.
The gesture prompted jokes from Smith’s team mates that Yasir had ‘woken up the beast’, and the batsman remarked that he looked forward to his next battle with the 33-year-old spinner.
“Yes, ready for one more time. Let’s see how the ball goes this time,” Smith had said a couple of days after the Brisbane game. “Any form of challenge motivates me and I am looking forward to Adelaide.”