Smith expects Black Caps to come strongly at him

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Sydney, Mar. 14 (ANI): Leg-spinning all-rounder Steve Smith knows New Zealand's batsmen will employ strong tactics against his brand of bowling during the two-Test series starting in Wellington on Friday.

"I'm sure they'd go pretty hard at me if I played, pretty hard," 20-year-old Smith said casually.

"But, if I get the chance to bowl, I'll keep to the basics and continue to do what I've done to get there. I've been picked for a reason, I've been doing well at the level below so I guess it's really a case of stepping up to the occasion," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Smith, as saying.

Former New Zealand coach Steve Rixon, who has watched Smith's progress from teen sensation to Test squad member as an official for the Sutherland club, also anticipated the Kiwis would try to belt him out of the game, but would do so at their peril.

"He'll hold his own, no problem, there's no chance he'll be fazed," Rixon said from India.

If there were doubts concerning Smith's credentials as a Test spinner - even his fiercest supporters says he's a batsman who bowls a bit - he went a long way to quelling them at the SCG on Friday when he took 7-64 against South Australia.

His successful spell followed his 100 from 128 deliveries with the bat, the highlight of that innings being his belting seven boundaries to race from from 72 overnight to triple figures.

The relaxed manner in which Smith has accepted his life goal to make the big league hasn't surprised those who've monitored his progress, former Test fast bowler Len Pascoe included.

"What's really stuck with me about Steve Smith was the day we played Campbelltown and their fast bowlers were performing very well," he said.

"One bloke got helmeted [hit on the helmet] and there was a bit of nervousness in the dressing room. Some of the players were jittery, but Steve was half-asleep - and he was the next man in!

"When he went out and batted that day he seemed to have all the time in the world to play his shots. He's like Mark Waugh in both his temperament and his ability to see the ball early. He doesn't get flustered."

Rixon said one of the youngster's best attributes was his ability to process information and to stick to his plan. (ANI)

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