New Australia captain Smith vows to lead from front


New Australia captain Steve Smith has vowed to let his bat do the talking when he leads the team against New Zealand next month, while conceding he may drop down to number four.

Smith, whose blooding as Test skipper was delayed when a two-Test series in Bangladesh this month was called off over terrorism fears, said he fully understood his role.

“It is my team now, I guess,” he told Fairfax Media in comments published Wednesday. “It’s a really exciting time, a bit of generational change, some young players coming into the team and trying to build almost a new team.

“(My leadership approach) is about leading from the front with my performances. That’s the most important thing from my aspect.

“I’m also ensuring I have a good group of guys around me; a good leadership group and people who I can talk to away from cricket to give me some guidance and a kick up the backside if I need it.”

Australia will embark on their summer campaign without former captain Michael Clarke, and fellow retirees Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Chris Rogers and Shane Watson.

Despite missing so much experience, Smith said he was excited by the younger players knocking on the Test team door, and they now had an opportunity to grow together.

“It’s a really exciting time. I think there’s going to be a few experienced guys around the group — which is going to be good — but it’s a pretty new team,” he said.

“We have to try and build that up as much as possible and learn quickly on our feet and hopefully keep improving every day.”

With an anticipated influx of top-order batsmen for the opening Test against New Zealand, including newcomers Cameron Bancroft and Andrew Fekete, Smith conceded that he may bat at number four rather than his usual first man down to provide balance.

“It depends upon the make-up of the team where I’m going to bat,” he said.

“I think a lot of the players coming through at the moment, they’re top-order players, so there’s a good chance I’ll be batting at number four.

“I won’t be batting any lower than there — I can tell you that!”

The first Test is at Brisbane’s Gabba from November 5.