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7-digit send-off motivates Smith for 2nd test vs Pakistan

November 26, 2019
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Australia's Steve Smith walks off the field after he lost his wicket during their cricket test match against Pakistan in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)
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Australia's Steve Smith walks off the field after he lost his wicket during their cricket test match against Pakistan in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — A seven-digit send-off has Australia batsman Steve Smith motivated for an improved performance against Pakistan in the second cricket test.

Smith was looking to extend his strong form that netted him 774 runs in seven innings when Australia retained the Ashes in England. But in the first innings of the first test at the Gabba in Brisbane last Saturday, Smith faced only nine balls and was bowled by Yasir Shah for four runs.

Shah raised his thumb and four fingers one hand, and two fingers on the other, marking the number of times he has got Smith out in test cricket, in an act noted as “interesting” by the Australian.

“It gave me a bit more motivation next game to not get out to him,” Smith said Tuesday at Adelaide Oval, where the day-night test begins Friday. “So I will probably be a little bit more disciplined against him.”

Australia didn’t need to bat again in Brisbane, winning by an innings and five runs on Sunday with more than a day to spare.

Smith then inflicted some self-abuse by running the three kilometers (two miles) back to the hotel instead of catching the team bus. That was on top of training in the batting nets not long after his dismissal.

“I always punish myself when I get no runs, just like I reward myself when I score runs with a chocolate bar at the end of the night if I get a hundred,” he said. “So yeah, if I get no runs I always like to have a run or go to the gym or do something just to give myself a bit of a punishment.”

England paceman Stuart Broad has dismissed Smith eight times in tests — the only bowler to get the former Australia captain out more than leg-spinner Shah.

But Broad’s total has come in 24 tests while Shah has played in only six tests against Smith.

“I feel the times he (Shah) has got me out, I have been on a few runs,” Smith said. “I have been slogging in a couple of second innings ones where I was playing some funky shots and stuff so I’m not too worried.”

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