Steve Smith’s love for batting against English bowlers may one day entice him to venture back into county cricket.
Australia’s Ashes-winning captain averages more than 150 and had hit 604 runs against the best attack England had to offer so far this winter going into the fifth Test which began in Sydney overnight.
At 28, he has many more years of run-plundering ahead of him – and as he prepared for the final Test on his home ground, he was happy to ponder the prospect of a return to the English domestic summer.
A decade ago, Smith had the option of joining Surrey – but that would have meant giving up on his ambition to play for his native country in favour of his English-born mother’s.
It was an option the then teenager never seriously considered.
Since then, he has played Twenty20 cricket for Worcestershire on an overseas contract and admits he could well be tempted back at some point, especially by the lure of the County Championship.
“I’d love to play some county cricket at some point in my career as well,” said the world’s No 1 batsman.
Recalling his contract offer from Surrey, after one 2nd XI match for Kent in 2007, he continued: “I never had ambitions to play for England as such – I always wanted to play for Australia.
“At 18 years of age, it sounded like quite a fair amount of money to me. But I always knew I wanted to come back and play for New South Wales and for Australia and do my best there.
“It was a decision I had to make at the time, and I think I chose the right one.”
He and Australia can have no cause for regret, this winter especially, although he admits the task of scoring a mountain of runs against England has just occasionally taken him out of his comfort zone.