Mental strength key to success, says best Test batsman in the world

Like many other cricketers around the world, Australian batsman Steve Smith has been actively interacting with his fans on social media during the coronavirus lockdown. After sharing some batting tips, Smith has now shared how he prepares mentally for a game. According to the number one Test batsman in the world, 90 to 95 percent of the game is about mental strength. 

Smith said, visualization was a key component of his preparations. “I like to think who I am coming up against. For example if I am playing against England in an Ashes game, I think about Stuart Broad and where he’s likely to bowl to me, where am I going to score runs, I picture him running in at me, picture hitting the ball through the gap and going to the boundary. Same with James Anderson and Ben Stokes.”  

According to Smith, one should set aside time for visualization and do it over and over again to get the best results. He said he usually does that during his sleep, which is a habit he admitted he needs to change. 

Smith encouraged young players to have a routine. He said, every time he walks to the crease, he does the same thing. Whether its tapping his foot, looking up, tapping his foot again, he has the same routine before playing every ball. According to him it's just something to go back to as this helps him to not get distracted by what’s happening on the other end and he can then just concentrate on playing the ball. 

Photo Courtesy: Steve Smith/Instagram
Photo Courtesy : Steve Smith/Instagram

Considered the best Australian batsman since Sir Donald Bradman, Smith said it was important for him to catch his thoughts in the middle and make the right decisions. 

“Catching my thoughts as they are happening, not waiting till I have made a mistake and getting angry at myself after I have made them but catching it before it actually happens.” 

According to the Aussie batsman, one can take risks and give in to the urge to smack the ball in a shorter format of the game as one needs to score runs at a pretty good rate but the same can't be done in Test Cricket. 

Batting for long periods of time needs deep concentration and therefore it is important that while playing in the nets one plays each ball like they would play in a real match, said the 30-year-old.

Smith recently shared two videos of what he described as two authentic swings with his fans. 

 

Smith was to captain Rajasthan Royals in this year's edition of the Indian Premier League, which has been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Author
Punam Sharrma
Punam Sharrma – Head of Content

Punam is an accomplished Broadcast Professional with over 21 years of hands-on experience in anchoring news and sports-based programs. A Chevening Scholar at Cardiff University, she worked as an Editor, Anchor and Producer for organisations like ESPN, TV Today and India Today. Recognised as the first Indian female news anchor for international sports broadcaster at ESPN. Out of box thinker with innovative programming initiatives that led to winning of prestigious awards.

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