Steve Smith's Brilliant Response When Asked If He's Scared Of Jofra Archer
He's back. Australia's best batsman will take his place in the Aussie line-up for the fourth Test at Old Trafford starting next Wednesday.
"I've ticked all the boxes, feeling good, ready to play," Steve Smith said in England today.
Smith missed the previous Test -- the incredible one-wicket England victory at Headingley -- after an enforced absence due to the concussion he suffered in the second Test at Lord's, when felled by a Jofra Archer bouncer.
So naturally, after a few polite inquiries about his health, attention turned to Archer. Is Smith confident he can handle him? To this question, the 30-year-old, who averages a remarkable 63 in Test cricket, gave a great response.
"I'm not really going to change anything," he began.
"There's been a lot of talk that he's got the wood on me but he hasn't got me out."
Such was the focus on Archer after he knocked Smith out of the game, it has been overlooked that he never got him out in the match. Indeed, as that was Archer's Test debut, he's never gotten Smith out in the long form of the game.
So you might say, he was down but not out.
Smith also made another good point. He said Archer hit him on a wicket that was a bit up-and-down at Lord's -- his clear inference being that Archer likely won't repeat the dose on a pitch with a more predictable bounce.
So overall, it was a confident face presented by the former Aussie skipper, looking forward to the next match.
That said, in what was the first occasion he's opened up publicly about the frightening blow, he did admit to some scary thoughts immediately after he was felled.
"I had a few things running through my head... a bit of the past came up from a few years ago, that was probably the first thing I thought about," he said, in a clear nod to the ball that tragically killed Australian batsman Phil Hughes.
"Then I was like, 'I'm OK here' and I was all right... It wasn't till later that evening that it sort of hit me. It felt like I'd had six beers, that groggy sort of feeling and that stuck around for a couple of days, not a nice place to be in."
Smith went on to say that it was unfortunate to miss what turned into such an amazing Test match at Headingley. And ever the man to appreciate a great cricketer, he heaped praise upon champion England all-rounder Ben Stokes.
"He's a tough competitor. He wants to be in the pressure moments and thrives under pressure," Smith said.
"The passion that he showed, the fight. He never, ever gave up. And when he scored a hundred, he didn't even celebrate, he didn't care. He had one thing on his mind which was getting England over the line, and I really admire that."