On Sunday it was David Warner tasked with facing Australia’s Test quicks in an intense net session, and today it was Steve Smith’s turn at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
While Warner had to deal with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, Smith had to endure the pace pair as well as spearhead Mitchell Starc.
Despite having not played a first-class match since the infamous Cape Town Test in March, Smith was more than a match for the trio as they prepare for the first Domain Test against India in Adelaide from December 6.
Just like he was two days ago, Hazlewood was the pick of the bowlers, firing down accurate and awkward deliveries to Smith, who was at his most animated defending the right-armer and attacking the rare loose delivery.
It was Hazlewood who put Smith on his backside after the batsman failed to keep his footing attempting to hook a well-aimed bouncer.
As was the case on Sunday, the net session was fierce and competitive but ended with plenty of smiles between the players.
There was no speed gun, but it appeared as though the quicks were operating at top pace, a positive sign for Australian fans ahead of the summer against Virat Kohli and his charges.
Kohli and the tourists trained in the afternoon at the SCG in what was their final hit-out before taking on the Cricket Australia XI in a four-day first-class match starting tomorrow.
The CA XI practiced alongside Smith and the Test quicks and captain Sam Whiteman was impressed by the showdown.
“That was pretty good to watch actually,” Whiteman said.
“That’s not a great net to face up in.
“It looked like they were bowling well and to be fair Steve Smith made it look like he had a bit of time in there, which is pretty amazing to watch.
“It is good to see him (Smith) around the traps, especially his attitude throughout this whole thing.
“He still can’t play for five or six months, so to see him in there training getting frustrated when he nicks one is pretty cool to see and definitely a great lesson for all those younger guys.”
Domain Test Series v India
Dec 6-10: First Test, Adelaide Oval
Dec 14-18: Second Test, Perth Stadium
Dec 26-30: Third Test, MCG
Jan 3-7: Fourth Test, SCG
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c, wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Mitch Marsh (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain
India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar