Rajasthan Royals batsman says that partner Willis ensures that he is mentally prepared for matches and stays tension-free
Steven Smith has been involved in non-stop cricket ever since the Test series against India last year. Mentally and physically it has been draining for Australia’s blue-eyed boy. He capped off a brilliant summer scoring centuries in each of the four Tests against India, captaining Australia in the absence of injured Michael Clarke to a 2-0 win.
Australia’s Steve Smith and partner Dani Willis pose in the change room after they beat India in fourth Test at SCG in Sydney. PIC/Getty Images
Smith was also instrumental in Australia lifting the tri-series, which involved India and England.
The World Cup win just before the Indian Premier League-8 kicked off was an overwhelming experience for Smith and his Australian teammates.
Smith, who will turn 26 on June 2, scored 402 runs in seven innings as co-hosts Australia won their fifth World title beating New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
After a few days break, Smith straight flew in to join his Rajasthan Royals teammates where he has scored 195 in eight innings — second best RR batsman after Orange Cap holder Ajinkya Rahane (430 runs).
For someone who has been on the road, Smith looks up to his girlfriend Dani Willis to keep him stress free.
“She is my stress-buster,” Smith told mid-day yesterday. “She travels around with me quite a bit to keep me company. She makes sure I am best prepared (mentally) for my matches.”
That’s not all, Willis, a law student, is also Smith’s batting coach whenever the future Australia captain wants to hit the nets.
“Yeah, Dani has been really good and has been able to keep me straight and narrow. We had a little bit of an off-season where she would occasionally feed me a few balls on the bowling machine.
“There wasn’t too much of coaching involved. She doesn’t comment too much on my technique. She just ensures I am enjoying my game,” Smith signed off.