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PERTH: Australia’s Steve Smith conceded on Tuesday that he has not played to his usual high standards this year but believes he has found part of the solution – taking up golf.

It has been a gruelling year of cricket for the star batsman, an integral part of the Australia team which retained the Ashes and won the World Test Championship and the World Cup.

But speaking ahead of the first Test against Pakistan starting on Thursday in Perth, the 34-year-old admitted that his form had dipped.

He averages 58.61 with the bat in Tests and is ranked third in the world by the ICC, but he averaged 37.30 in the Ashes and 29 in the away series in India.

“I don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” he told reporters in Perth.

“I’ve performed at a high standard for a long period of time.

Australia’s Smith and Starc star in rain-hit World Cup warm-up game

“I was probably below my standards of what I want. For me, it’s about not overthinking it, not overplaying too much, not changing too much.”

Smith had limited time to celebrate Australia’s World Cup triumph in India and said that it had been a draining 2023 – which is where the golf comes in.

“Any sort of moment you can get to have a few days or a week just to get away from the game and get your mental side back to a position where you can go out and perform internationally, it’s important,” he said.

“I’ve sort of got into the golf a bit and played a bit of golf back home.

“The boys are continually laughing about it at the moment, that I’m getting into golf.”

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