We assume this was why he was just dismissed for 15 in the first Test against Pakistan.
Last week, in the only warm-up match for this series, Smith made two against Pakistan A. The innings before that was for Surrey in May. You might think he’d have wanted a bit more time in the middle before this Test, but no, he sat out the second innings of that warm-up match.
Questioned about this decision, he went all Matthew Hayden on us:
“Not batting today was just a management process.”
This hasn’t been the only example of recent guff-talking from Smith. Before the tour, he gave advance warning that match practice wasn’t a major concern:
“I’ve upped my cricket skills in the last two weeks or so and it will be about getting mentally ready.”
The good news is that he now has plenty of time to ‘fine-tune his mental skillset’ back in the shed.