Steve Smith
Steve Smith Image Credit: AFP

Australia’s star batsman Steve Smith says he has not touched a cricket bat since the middle of March and the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but is in the best shape of his life.

The world’s no. 1 Test batsman has been out of action since March, when Australia’s one-day series against New Zealand was abandoned due to the pandemic.

He returned to training with his New South Wales teammates Monday as they await the green light for competitive cricket to start again, targeting a home one-day series against Zimbabwe in August.

“I feel like I’ve had a pre-season the last couple of months. Got myself into probably the best shape I’ve been in years. Lots of running, lots of gym stuff,” Smith said. “It’s been a couple of months of good hard work and now back with the boys, which is great.”

But with no net practice, he has barely picked up his bat.

“I haven’t touched a bat, really. A couple of little drills at home but that’s about it,” said Smith.

“I’ve just tried to switch off from it a bit, which I don’t do very often. I was just focusing on getting myself fit and strong and refreshing mentally.

“It’s been a bit different but I’m sure in the long run it will probably be a good thing to freshen up after what was a pretty long year-and-a-half since the World Cup and Ashes and summer here. I’m refreshed and ready to go.”