By Andrew Alderson at The Oval
The New Zealand cricketers have a rest day today at the World Cup.
Perhaps it's time to rustle up a bucket of popcorn, wallow on the hotel suite couch and binge on the latest episode of Steve Smith Plays India.
Steven Peter Devereux Smith, 30, of Sydney, New South Wales has had his flaws well-documented over the past year or so.
Batting against spin is not one of them.
He's designated as unfit for leadership at present, but his innings at The Oval this morning suggested he's qualified to wield willow.
Irrespective of Australia's 36-run loss, Smith's catalogue of strokes provided an example of how to construct an innings against India's tweaking guile.
The Black Caps could look deeper into the themes surrounding Smith's performance, given each of their top six was dismissed by spin in the two-wicket win against Bangladesh at the same venue.
Smith entered the blue-hued Oval cauldron at 61 for one after the run out of Aaron Finch in the 14th over. The chant of "chee-tah, chee-tah" roared through the crowd; presumably not because of his speed between the wickets.
Yet the right-hander was unfazed by the abuse because, after all, it's hard to argue with the truth from last year's Cape Town ball-tampering scandal. Instead he focused his attention on building an innings which hovered around a run-a-ball and displayed an innate calmness to keep Australia in the contest.
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Smith fidgeted about the crease, adjusting his pads, thigh pad and gloves. That was juxtaposed by his comfort against the left-arm wrist spin of Kuldeep Yadav, the leg spin of Yuzvendra Chahal and the off spin of Kedar Jadhav.
Jadhav's stock ball was clobbered with the spin via slog sweeps through deep mid-wicket on his way to a solitary over which conceded 14 runs; Smith's foot movement to the lithe-limbed Chahal could've danced a tango in Buenos Aires; and he worked Yadav off his pads in pinball fashion with supple wrists. He was also adept at playing forward of square against anyone, to maximise runs against the point sweeper.
Smith averages 42.24 in 97 ODI innings at a strike rate of 86; in 13 innings against India that bumps up to 52.15 at a strike rate of 98.
When he exited at 238 for four in the 40th over chasing 353 to win, Australia crumbled.
The Black Caps would have been wise to take notes.