Former Australia captain Mark Taylor chose to praise Indian bowlers for their fantastic execution of plans rather than dwelling too much into Steve Smith‘s form with the bat in the ongoing Test series.
Australia’s premier batsman, Steve Smith, has managed only 10 runs after his four innings in the series thus far. With Smith not troubling the scorers much, the hosts’ batting woes have stood exposed as they’ve not crossed the 200-mark even once.
I Do Not Believe Steve Smith Is In A Form Slump: Mark Taylor
Taylor doesn’t believe Smith’s issues are irredeemable as he insisted that the Indian bowling attack has been top-notch with its plans and execution against him.
“I do not believe Smith is in a form slump. His stance, the idiosyncrasies, these are all things that have made him a great batsman. The main difference to me is the opposition’s plans have worked for the first time in years. There’s not much more to it than that,” Taylor wrote in his column for the Sydney Morning Herald.
“What India have done better than most sides is maintain a more disciplined line, and restricted his ability to score.”
Would Like To See Smith Bat More Aggressively: Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor feels Steve Smith needs to be more proactive at the start of his innings and be aggressive to put the pressure back on the Indian bowlers. Taylor believes this way Smith can get the big score Australia need from him after losing inside four days in Melbourne.
“I would like to see him be more aggressive and force India to change their approach, bearing in mind the visitors’ fast-bowling stocks are being tested because of injuries to Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav. As well as Mohammed Siraj bowled on debut in Melbourne, it’s a big ask to expect a Test newcomer to hold such high standards so early in his career,” Taylor wrote.
“When I say aggressive, I’m not urging Smith to play a risky shot to find the boundary, which is the school of thought for many modern players. He just needs to rotate the strike more – something I feel only Marnus Labuschagne has done well for Australia this series,” he added.
Smith started off the home summer in outstanding fashion scoring back to back hundreds in the ODI series in November. But his returns have since declined sharply as a 46 in the second T20I remains his best score in last eight innings.
Smith has historically taken a great liking to Indian bowlers in Test match cricket. The technically unique right-hand batsman has scored 1,439 Test runs against India at an average of 71.95, including 7 centuries. With the series levelled 1-1, Smith will once again be a prized scalp in the New Year’s Test in Sydney, starting Thursday (January 7).