Smith ready to play cricket in two weeks

Steve Smith says he's in great shape and needs just a fortnight to prepare for top-level cricket.
Steve Smith says he's in great shape and needs just a fortnight to prepare for top-level cricket.

Steve Smith says he needs just a couple of weeks to be ready to play top-level cricket again, if the three-match July ODI series against England proceeds overseas.

With no net work possible Smith has hardly touched a bat over the last two months, but the champion batsman and former Australian captain says he is in his best shape for years.

"I feel like I have had a preseason pretty much the last couple of months," Smith said.

"I've got myself into good shape probably the best shape I've been in in years, doing lots of running and lots of gym sort of stuff.

"It's been a bit different but different I'm sure it will be in the long run, probably a good thing just to freshen up after what was a pretty long year and a half with the World Cup, The Ashes and the summer here."

Overnight the England and Wales Cricket Board said it was possible the ODI series could still go ahead.

Asked whether he was comfortable about flying to England and quarantining, Smith replied: "I personally haven't really thought about that.

"I think it would be just going off the advice of the professionals and the government's just doing essentially what we're told."

With suggestions coaching staff around the Australian team may be reduced as part of further cuts, Smith believed players might have to help each other a bit more.

"They (the coaches) all have a role to play particularly as the game has evolved and got more professional, and we've got people in different areas of expertise to help the team prepare," Smith said.

"If that (the coaching staff is cut) happens it will take some adjusting.

"Guys might have to throw some balls to one of the other batters or help out the bowlers in a certain way and do different things.

"It will be about guys being able to help each other out as well, particularly senior players being able to maybe take a bit of time off your own game and help someone else out at training."

The prolific runscorer isn't known for being charitable towards bowlers, but as a part-time spinner he had some sympathy for them not being allowed to use saliva to keep shine on the ball.

"I've always been one to want a fair contest between bat and ball even as a batter, so if that's taken away I don't think that's great," Smith said.

"It will be hard, I actually spit on my hands most balls, that's how I get my grip."

Australian Associated Press