Smith promises to punish Pakistan after insult
Steve Smith's teammates believe Yasir Shah has "woken up the beast" with his provocative seven-finger salute of the world's greatest batsman.
The Pakistan spinner gave Smith a cheeky send-off during the Brisbane Test when he bowled him for 4, making it known he has dismissed the Australian star seven times in six Tests.
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Smith declared he is motivated for revenge in the second Test starting on Friday in Adelaide and warned Shah he isn't "overly worried" by what the leg-spinner has to offer.
Australian players feel Shah might live to regret inciting cricket's ruthless run-making machine, as Smith threw down the gauntlet.
"I am motivated, particularly after he put his fingers up that he got me seven times," said Smith.
"A couple of the boys were in the sheds just after that and said, 'he's just woken up the beast' or something like that.
"We're in for a battle next week. I'm not going to be giving away my wicket very easily this time."
Ex-greats Shane Warne and Michael Vaughan said Smith might want to show Shah more respect.
Smith says he will show more discipline this time around, and revealed his rash shot against Shah at the Gabba was partly down to a pre-day meeting where he and coach Justin Langer had decided the best game plan was for him to go out all guns blazing, given David Warner, Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne had already set a massive platform at the top.
Smith, who is just 24 runs shy of becoming the fastest player ever to 7000 Test runs, admits he had no idea Shah had such a good record against him until the send-off … but isn't necessarily losing any sleep.
"I actually didn't even know that he'd gotten me out (seven times). I thought he'd gotten me out once or twice. Seven times? There you go," Smith said.
Yasir Shah has clean bowled Steve Smith for four. It is 7th time in Tests he has dismissed Smith, who is now averaging only 27.28 against him. #AusvPak— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) November 23, 2019
"A few of those times I was slogging to set up a game … a couple I guess you'd call them cheap wickets in a way. But he has got me a couple of conventional times as well.
"I thought he bowled really well at the Gabba last week. He got good drift and a little bit of spin when it was on offer.
"I'm not overly worried about him, but I'll be playing with a bit more discipline this week and hopefully will score some runs."
The batting great punished himself for his rare failure in Brisbane by running the 3km back to his hotel that night.
"We live and we learn, and we go again," he said.
"I spoke to JL in the morning and I was like 'how should I go about this? Should I just take it on?'
"He said, 'just go out and entertain them - do what you want.'
"It was probably a bit more casual than if I'd come in at 2-20. I would have been more cautious and got into my innings rather than playing a somewhat reckless shot."
Australia's No. 3 revelation Marnus Labuschagne has been accused of mimicking Smith's every move by Australian teammates. Something Labuschagne is making no apologies for.
"He's way stranger than I am!" retorted Smith.
But although Smith might resent the link to the Queenslander's quirkiness, he praised Labuschagne's impressive rise.
"I thought he played beautifully. I've been really impressed with the way he went about things in England. The way he prepared," Smith said.
"We talked a lot about batting. He's got a good understanding of what he's trying to do, what he's trying to achieve.
"He's been getting a lot of starts since getting into the side. He's got a lot of 60s and 70s. The challenge for him is to turn them into 180 like he did last week. If he's doing that consistently, he's going to be a very, very good player in all forms of the game."