Vishal Mehra ∙ Mar 1 2023, 10:15 AM

Steve Smith Understands Tempo Better Than Pat Cummins: Ravi Shastri

image-lepab9glSteve Smith is currently leading Australia in the third Test at Indore in Pat Cummins' absence [Source: Twitter]

Steve Smith has been handed the reins of the Australian Test side for the ongoing third Test against India in the Border-Gavaksar Trophy 2023 in the absence of regular skipper Pat Cummins. This is the second time Smith has led Australia in Tests since the infamous 'SandpaperGate Scandal'.

Former India player and coach Ravi Shastri has hailed Smith's captaincy skills, saying the star batter lifts his batsmanship with added responsibilities.

In 37 matches as Australian captain, the 33-year-old has scored 3,793 runs at an average of 67.73. 

Writing in his column for The Age, the 60-year-old stated that Smith is better than Cummins as a leader in Asian conditions, which has been a key difference so far between the two sides in the BGT 2023.

Here's what Shastri wrote

"Firstly, whenever I have seen Smith captain the side, he's been a different batter, a better batter. The responsibility of captaincy seems to bring that different kind of mindset. His concentration levels seem far higher, and you just have to look at his batting average as captain. It is outstanding. He is one of those players who thrives on the extra workload of leading the side.

He understands the tempo of cricket in India better than what Cummins would have,"

Smith's Australia bundled out India for 109.  Opting to bat first after winning the toss, India crumbled against the spin of Matthew Kuhnemann, who claimed his maiden Test fifer.

India leads the four-Test series 2-0.