All eyes would be on Steve Smith when India and Australia lock horns in the four-Test series in December with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The Indian bowlers will have their task cut out in cheaply dismissing Steve Smith, who averages a daunting 84 against them in Tests. With the tourists looking to exploit the 31-year old’s short-ball weakness, assistant coach Andrew Mcdonald has his say.
Steve Smith’s potential chink in armour might have arisen during the Australian summer of 2018-19 when Neil Wagner got his wicket. The New Zealand left-arm seamer kept bowling at his hips and delivering the short-pitched, leaving the right-handed batsman nowhere to go and often hitting it to the fielders. Despite that, Smith averaged 43 throughout the summer, keeping Australia unbeaten in Tests.
The New South Wales batsman was not part of the 2018-19 leg against India at home as he and David Warner were serving their year-long ball-tampering bans. With the iconic batting duo back for the series, the Baggy Greens will leave no stone unturned in regaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and avenging for the previous time’s defeat.
They’re taking a shot at that area to get Steve Smith out early: Andrew Mcdonald
Andrew McDonald asserted that short-pitched deliveries are not Steve Smith’s weakness. He underlined that the Indian bowlers could concentrate on getting him out early and moving forward dry the runs off his bat. Mcdonald pointed out that India has used it before without any fruitful results. He understands that England’s Jofra Archer did cause Smith discomfort; however, he bounced back by accumulating runs. The 39-year old Victorian added that Smith faces no trouble with short-pitched bowling in white-ball cricket either and that Indians could keep trying the approach.
“I don’t think it’s a weakness, is it? They’re taking a shot at that area to get him out early and then what you’ll see after that initial potential plan they will go to a more standard try and negate the runs. I think they’ve used it before and he’s done well on it before. I’m suggesting that plan hasn’t necessarily worked to its full effect. I know with the Test match he had that moment with Archer where it got him. In terms of coming back off that he was able to score runs. Even in one-day cricket he’s been able to score runs. In T20 cricket he’s been able to score runs with that plan being adopted by opponents. I don’t necessarily see it as a weakness but they can keep approaching it that way if they want,” Mcdonald stated as quoted by The Age.