Andrew McDonald provides clarity on Steve Smith’s chances for the T20 World Cup 2024

The continuous speculation surrounding Steve Smith‘s place in the T20 international format has been a topic of discussion, especially as he hasn’t played in T20Is since late last year. Several contenders for top-order batting positions have been making their mark, contributing to the ongoing uncertainty about Smith’s role in the T20 World Cup 2024 which will take place in the West Indies and the United States of America (USA), later in June.

Steve Smith’s T20 international dilemma

Critics and supporters have engaged in debates over Smith’s strike rate and suitability for T20s, a format that values explosive batting and versatility. Players like Cameron Green, Travis Head and Tim David, with their aggressive performances, have solidified their positions, adding further challenges to Smith’s potential comeback.

Ongoing speculation regarding Smith’s T20I future

Despite being a key player for Australia, Smith found himself excluded from the playing XI in the first T20I against New Zealand in Wellington on February 21. This decision raised questions about his current standing in the team and hints at the challenges he faces to secure a regular spot. In the past one year, Smith has only played two T20Is, both in a series against India in November, where he opened the batting.

Also READ: Mitchell Marsh identifies the most crucial Australian player for T20 World Cup 2024

Andrew McDonald’s insights on Smith for the T20 World Cup 2024

In a recent statement, Australia’s head coach, Andrew McDonald, addressed Smith’s absence and clarified that the right-handed batter missed the South Africa tour due to a wrist injury. McDonald emphasized that Smith wouldn’t be part of the team traveling to New Zealand if they didn’t envision a specific role for him ahead of the T20I mega event.

“If he wasn’t in our thinking then he wouldn’t be on the plane over here. We’re playing him for a reason. He’ll get some opportunity here, he had some opportunities in India at the back end of a World Cup and we were planning for him to play in South Africa as well going as far back as August-September (last year), but he unfortunately had a wrist injury at the time, so he missed those three one-dayers. But he’s definitely in the thoughts,” McDonald was quoted as saying by

Key role of IPL 2024

Additionally, McDonald revealed that the squad for the marquee event is yet to be finalized, and the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) will play a significant role in determining the composition of the final squad. The statement suggests that Smith’s future in the T20 side hinges on various factors, including his role, fitness, and performance in the cash-rich league.

“There’s 20 players that are in our thinking, we’re not settled in terms of the final 15 at this stage and that’s why these games are really important. And we’ve got a lot of our players in IPL as well, so we get another look at what certain players are doing in that competition which is probably the biggest connection to international cricket. I think it’s the best competition in the world, in terms of domestic format,” the 42-year-old concluded.

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