$12m windfall hides awkward Smith irony
STEVE Smith is many things - but not a tremendous endorsement for the mattress company that has made him a multi-millionaire.
Australia's star batsman will take the field against Pakistan in the second Test, which starts today in Adelaide, on scant sleep.
Smith never sleeps well around a Test match, averaging between three and four hours kip a night during games.
But the eccentric-styled batsman isn't tossing and turning - he's projecting how he's going to score runs.
"I'm an awful sleeper," Smith said last August during the Ashes series in England. "It's all positive stuff - who is bowling at me, where I am going to hit them, how I'm going to play, where I'm going to look to score."
Four years ago, Smith invested $100,000 for a 10 per cent stake in the then start-up company Koala Mattress.
The mattress firm is now valued at about $150 million, boosting the value of Smith's shares to more than $12 million.
The irony isn't lost on his Test captain, Tim Paine.
"It is not a great endorsement for his Koala Mattress company," Paine told reporters on Thursday of Smith's sleep patterns.
But Paine and his Test cohorts have come to accept Smith's sleeping habits as "is just how he is".
"But, at the same time, I know that he is working with people at Cricket Australia and elsewhere on trying to find a better night's sleep," Paine said.
"He is plugging away at trying to get a better night's sleep but I don't think it is an easy fix for someone who is wired the way Steve is."
Smith's amount of sleep and amount of runs form a curious pattern. His record when best rested and batting in a first innings of a Test is astonishing, averaging 93.64 and scoring 16 of his 26 centuries.
As Smith's sleep dwindles during a Test, so does his output. In the second innings of a Test, Smith averages 63.37 with six tons. In a third innings he averages 51.68 with four centuries.
In the fourth innings, when most sleep-deprived, Smith's average drops to a mere mortal 30.68 with no centuries.
"He performs in first innings, which all good players want to be able to do, when the game is up for grabs," Paine said.
"And big first-innings runs more often than not will win you Test matches or will certainly put you well in front of the game.
"So I think if you asked him would he rather score his runs in the first or the second, he is going to take the first every day of the week - and his record is second to none."