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There are not too many people who have split the nation like S.O.S. Its been said time and time again that when he is on, he looks as good as anyone.
He debuted in Kandy in 2011 and combined with Hussey to take them apart. With 141 runs in the prestigious number three role on debut gave us all hope we had found a long term solution. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Here we are five years later and still haven’t 100% locked down that permanent number three. Khawaja still has work to do against quality opposition to nail it down. Otherwise, you would think Smith will just come back up and take charge.
As I have said previously, I live in Western Australia and over here he has plenty of fans who have seen him dominate for years. For the rest of the country we probably see his time as on the way out. He’s 33 years old and has had more chances than most. There is no doubt that it has been a combination of injuries and not getting a chance when he was in blistering form. But the fact of the matter is the top five is looking pretty settled. If the new lads Burns and Khawaja put their nose down, the next spot will be Voges that comes up whenever his hip finally needs replacing. By that time, you would have to think guys like Bancroft, Head, Handscombe, Lehman and Doran will be maturing nicely and should be in the frame. But I also like the balance of having an experienced 35-year-old in the team. Can he be that guy? Or does a chance come earlier through injury or lack of form from one of the incumbents? Only time will tell.
Prediction: I can’t see him busting back into this team on this tour unless there is an injury. Even if one of the top five has a lean run through the first two tests, I think they will be there for the third. I have him running drinks.
Statistics Source: ESPNCricinfo