Thursday, May 7, 2009
Test connection to Smith's IPL success
The Indian Premier League (IPL) may be a far cry from Test cricket, but Graeme Smith's return to form with a blazing 77 has much to do with the traditional form of the game. Smith, whose whirlwind 77 off 44 balls helped Rajasthan Royals pile up IPL's highest total of 211 and beat Kings XI Punjab by 78 runs Tuesday, said batting on a Test track allowed him to play his natural aggressive game. 'I have been working hard at the nets. And, we actually got a Test strip to bat on. So, that was one thing which went in my favour as I was feeling a lot more comfortable on the wicket,' Smith said. 'I was a little tense during the initial matches but now I have settled down. I have some confidence going now. I wanted to be positive and play my natural game against Kings XI Punjab. I am happy that we won the match,' Smith was quoted as saying on IPL's official website. Smith said he wanted to play a vital role and take his team to the semi-finals. 'I want to use the confidence in the coming matches and help my side secure a semi-final berth. 'Smith was all praise for his new opening partner Naman Ojha, who scored 68 in their stand of 135. 'Naman Ojha was awesome. He allowed me to play some positive cricket. It was great to have a good opening partnership in the match. Our top-order has struggled, so it feels good to make amends.'