Smith says he wasn’t out of form, just ‘out of runs’
Steve Smith has bristled at suggestions he fell out of form during Australia's lopsided Test summer ahead of his long-awaited Big Bash return.
Smith will make his first Big Bash appearance in six years when his Sydney Sixers take on the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Thursday night.
The Sixers star jetted into Brisbane on Tuesday after producing two sensational performances in Australia's 2-1 one-day international series loss to India.
Smith cracked 98 and 131 in his only two innings in India, brushing aside any concerns over his form following a lean summer by his standards.
Smith, 30, went into the Australian summer on the back of a remarkable Ashes in England where he scored 774 runs in four matches at 110.
But he only managed 254 runs at 36.28, without a century, against the poor Pakistan and New Zealand Test sides as a barrage of short bowling stifled his insane run-scoring trot.
"I never felt out of touch - probably just out of runs," Smith said.
"I spent a lot of time in the middle, just struggled to score at times with certain fields that were set and tactics used against me throughout the summer.
"It was nice to spend some time in the middle (in India), get into a bit of a groove and score a few runs.
"Unfortunately, I couldn't help the team win, but it was nice to get a few out of the middle."
Watch LIVE coverage of the best international & domestic cricket on KAYO with FOX CRICKET's unmatched commentary line-up. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Smith spent plenty of time watching from the dressing room this summer as teammates David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne scored a mountain of runs.
Then he didn't get a bat in the first ODI against India as Warner and Aaron Finch chased down the home side's 255 without losing a wicket.
"I watched a lot - the first one-day game I sat there waiting the whole time to bat," Smith said.
Smith captained the Sixers to the first BBL title in 2011-12, but his remarkable rise up the international ranks has limited his involvement in the Big Bash in recent years.
His last appearance in the tournament came in 2014 and he will return to a Sixers team running second in the competition.
Heat coach Darren Lehmann said Smith would be a huge inclusion for the Sixers up against a Brisbane side featuring Labuschagne and South African legend AB de Villiers.
"He's a pretty good player," Lehmann said.
"It's going to be a great atmosphere. You get Smith and Marnus coming back in, the Sixers are second on the table.
"We played well against them down in Sydney on the back of some unbelievable hitting from a few of the guys.
"We've got to come up with a plan to put them under some pressure."