Steve Smith once took 18 bats to a Test match. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Steve Smith once took 18 bats to a Test match. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Steve Smith revives cricket’s most potent weapon

Steve Smith has revealed his Ashes wonder-bat could make a return this summer with a glue and sticky tape repair saving the blade that smashed a Don Bradman-like 774 runs in just four Tests.

Opening his kitbag exclusively for the Sunday Telegraph, Smith revealed the remarkable story of the blade that broke England after admitting he once took 18 bats to a match.

The New Balance brand bat that helped him average a history making 110.57 across seven innings is one of eight Smith has at the SCG this weekend.

"I used that bat longer than I have used any other bat," Smith said.

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Steve Smith once took 18 bats to a Test match. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Steve Smith once took 18 bats to a Test match. Picture: Phil Hillyard

"I used it for the entire Ashes series. I used the same bat the whole time because obviously it was a nice one. Unfortunately, it ended up with some damage."

Discarding most of his bats after a match or two, Smith had the bat that scored over 33 per cent of Australia's total Ashes' runs repaired and returned to his match day cricket kit.

"It is back now," Smith said.

"I had to have the handle fixed because I broke it. I had a bit of glue and tape on it to keep it together.''

Yet to hit a ton with any of the bats he used this summer, Smith said he was considering resurrecting the blade that delivered Australia the Ashes with a series of centuries, including a knock of 211 at Old Trafford.

"I haven't brought it out this summer," Smith said.

 

Steve Smith raises the famous blade at The Oval. Picture: Jordan Mansfield/Getty
Steve Smith raises the famous blade at The Oval. Picture: Jordan Mansfield/Getty

 

"But I am hoping to at some point. The tape has changed the balance a fraction, feels a fraction heavier. I will give it a hit in the nets and see how I go.''

The number of bats Smith takes to a match has been a source of constant speculation with former teammates claiming he keeps as many as 20 bats in his kit-bag.

"It is only eight at the moment,'' Smith said.

"But I had a tour in Sri Lanka where I had eight bats and I then had another ten delivered. That (18) is way too many but I carted them all around and took them all home. I then narrowed it down to the ones I liked."

Smith's eight SCG bats - all New Balance 1080 models weighing 2.9 pounds (1.3kg) - include match ready bats, net bats and favourites.

"I usually have a couple that are ready for the game," Smith said.

"I also keep one or two that I have already used in a game and that I like. I try to hold on to those bats for as long as I can. The rest of them are to be used in the nets, getting ready for the game.''

 

Smith plunder 774 in four Ashes Tests. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty
Smith plunder 774 in four Ashes Tests. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty

 

All of Smith's bats are based are reproduced from the bat he used to score his first ODI century with in 2015 and is kept in the New Balance factory in Sarunussi, India.

"The shapes are pretty similar," Smith said.

"But all the bits of wood are different. There are slight variances in the bats. It is more about feel. I also look at the bat and if visually it looks really wide than I am happy. It doesn't take me long to work out if I like a bat or not. Most of my bats have pretty good ping and come off good. I just want it to feel light and look wide. Then I am good to go."

Smith can identify each of his bats - even though they are all identical models.

"I am a bat nuffie," Smith said.

"So, I just look down and I know which bat it is.''

Asides from bats, Smith's kit bag was surprisingly ordinary. We had been expecting horseshoes, four-leaf clovers, and maybe even a lightsabre given his new ball leaving technique.

"I only carry what I have to,'' Smith said.

"Just the things I need. I do enough quirky stuff out on the field, so I don't need it in my bag."

News Corp Australia


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