Australia left-handed batsman, Matthew Wade is confident that Steve Smith will fare much better in the third Test against India, especially while facing Ravichandran Ashwin than he did in the first two Tests in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series.
Smith has scores of 1, 1*, 0, and 8 in 4 innings in the series so far. He hasn’t looked comfortable at the crease while facing Ashwin – which is odd considering his dominant record over off-spinners – and has been dismissed on both inside and outside edge to Ashwin.
However, Wade believes that the low scores of Smith, who was not long ago the number one ICC Test batsman, are just an aberration. Wade, instead, praises the Indian spin duo of Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for their accuracy and consistency.
“I think they (India) have bowled terrifically well, especially in Melbourne there was more spin and bounce, we did not expect it to come into play as it did, we did not adapt quick enough to that wicket,” Matthew Wade told ANI.
“Steve has played against Ashwin plenty of times before this, Smith has been successful over here and I am sure he will be fine, no problems at all. Ashwin and Jadeja are a difficult spin duo, they are very consistent and we need to find a way, that’s the nature of the beast.”
I have really enjoyed batting as an opener: Matthew Wade
The 33-year-old has acted as a makeshift opener in the first two matches as David Warner and Will Pucovski both were out due to injuries. However, now as Warner and Pucovski return to the squad for the last two matches, it is to be seen that whether the hosts continue with Wade at the top or move him down in the middle-order, where he has batted all his career – including his two centuries in the Ashes in England.
While Warner will straightaway slot in the place of Joe Burns, Justin Langer might be tempted to persist with Wade at the top considering his performance in Melbourne.
“I have really enjoyed batting as an opener, I did not know what to expect going into the pink-ball Test, it’s not that different, you have to be cautious early, moving forward if the selectors want me to do this role, then I am comfortable doing it now. Will Pucovski has come back to the squad, I don’t know right now where I will bat, whether I play or not, who knows. I will prepare for where I have been batting, if I slide down the order, then also I am comfortable,” Wade added.