"There could be some slight rule changes..." - Steve Smith advocates rule adjustments in Test cricket

Updated - 28 Feb 2024, 05:01 PM

Steve Smith
Steve Smith (Image Credits: Twitter)

Steve Smith has called for “some slight rule changes” in Test cricket, particularly regarding fast bowlers’ tactics targeting the leg side. Steve Smith suggested that the on-field umpires should call frequently in these situations, as batters have only a few options to score.

Steve Smith has been an integral part of the Australian team’s success in red-ball cricket over the past few years. The right-handed batter has represented the national team in 107 Test matches and scored 9634 runs at an impressive average of 53.59, including 32 centuries.

The 34-year-old moved to the opening spot during the recent Test series against the West Indies at home. The former Australia skipper scored an unbeaten 91 runs during the second Test. He will continue as the opener in the upcoming two-match series in New Zealand.

Really Can’t Hit The Ball Anywhere – Steve Smith

Steve Smith proposed minor rule adjustments regarding deliveries directed down the leg side in Test cricket, emphasizing the difficulties batters encounter in capitalizing on scoring opportunities when facing such tactics.

“I think there could be some slight rule changes in terms of balls going down the leg side when you set that field,” Smith said, as quoted by news.co.au.

“You really can’t hit the ball anywhere in front of the wicket and I feel like it is almost like when a (left-arm) spinner comes over the wicket and they get the warning down the leg side and then they start getting wided,” he added.

It Should Be A Similar Ruling To The Spinner – Steve Smith

Steve Smith emphasized the need for a similar ruling to that applied to left-arm spinners, wherein repeated deliveries down the leg side result in wides being called after a warning. He expressed a desire for adjustments to ensure a fair balance between bat and ball.

“If you’re bowling balls consistently in that area down leg, it should be a similar ruling to the spinner if that makes sense. Basically bowl one or two, then get a warning and then get wides called. To have those catchers there in position, it can be challenging for sure,” Smith further stated.

“The only thing I’d like to see is if you get too much down leg, you can’t really score anywhere else, and all the fielders are there. That would be the only change I wouldn’t mind seeing.”

It’s A Good Skill And It Can Be Challenging – Steve Smith

Steve Smith acknowledged Neil Wagner’s skill, highlighting his ability to consistently bowl deliveries at a challenging height, especially for batters who favor pulling shots.

“Ultimately it is a good skill what Neil’s been able to do. The way he can get the ball between throat and chest height consistently, not bowl his two (allowed bouncers) for the over and just carry on doing it. It’s a good skill and it can be challenging, particularly for guys that are pullers of the ball,” Smith said.

Pat Cummins has retained the same squad that drew the recent series against the West Indies, while New Zealand is yet to finalize their playing XI. The first Test of the two-match series is set to commence at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on, Thursday, February 29.

Also read: “I’m not really too fussed” – Steve Smith on his chances of playing T20 World Cup


Australia National Cricket Team NZ vs AUS 2024 Steve Smith