Test batsman Steve Smith says patience is the key to his recent hot batting form, as he prepares to lead NSW for the first time.
Smith scored his maiden Test ton in the last match of the Ashes series and followed up with 70 for NSW in their one-day win over Tasmania in the opening interstate match of the Australian season last Sunday.
In his past nine matches across different forms, Smith has scored two centuries and four fifties.
"I think just learning, just patience, playing more games and just knowing my game a little bit better," Smith said on Friday when asked for the reasons behind his form.
"That's probably the main things, just being patient and being able to read the situations of the game and play accordingly."
He has clearly been earmarked for the return Ashes series starting with next month's Brisbane Test, with the selectors opting to keep him at home rather than send him on the one-day tour of India.
With Michael Clarke injured and Brad Haddin going to India, Smith gets his first crack at leading the Blues in Monday's one-day clash with Victoria at Bankstown Oval.
"Obviously there's been some big names come before me, so there's a lot of pressure on, but hopefully we can be successful," Smith said.
With no obvious long-term successor to Clarke, 24-year-old Smith could emerge as a candidate, especially if he cements his place in the side.
"It (captaining Australia) would be a dream come true," Smith said.
"Obviously at the moment, my main focus is on playing and winning games here for NSW, and then hopefully this summer playing some Test cricket and winning games against England."
One area Smith can already empathise with Clarke on is dealing with back issues.
"It can flare up at certain times, so it's certainly something that I need to continue to manage," Smith said.
While he has prioritised his batting of late, Smith stressed he hadn't given up on bowling legspin.
"It sort of went on the back foot for a little while, but I've certainly been working hard on it for the last, probably, month," Smith said.
"It's still there, and you never know - it might come out on Monday."