Steve Smith, who remained unbeaten on 77, put Australia on top on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday. However, it was not an easy day in the middle for the master batsman. Even though Steve Smith walked out to bat amid a mix of boos and cheers, he was determined not to let any of it affect him. Fronting the media at end of the day’s play, the former Australia skipper was asked if he was bothered in any way by the hordes of New Zealand fans booing him, “what booing?” Smith shot back.
“Is that what happened? I have no idea. I don’t really listen when I walk out to bat. Cheering, booing, don’t know,” Smith said at the press conference.
“I’ve learned to block it all out regardless, good or bad. Don’t know,” Steve Smith added.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl in the second Test of the three-match series.
Joe Burns was out first ball and David Warner was dismissed just before lunch.
But Marnus Labuschagne, the leading Test run-scorer for 2019, and Steve Smith hit patient half centuries to seize back control and take the hosts to 257/4 at the close of play.
As Steve Smith brought up his 28th Test half-century, his first in four Tests, he passed Greg Chappell (7,110 runs) to become Australia’s 10th highest run-scorer.
“The way they bowled and placed their field, I had to be patient,” said Smith.
“It’s not the kind of wicket you could go after them. I think we did pretty well today.
“The plan will obviously be to score as many as we can (on Friday),” Smith added.
The visitors need to win in Melbourne to square the series after losing the opening day-night Test in Perth by 296 runs.