Former India pacer, Zaheer Khan feels that the head coach of the Indian team, Ravi Shastri should encourage his players to remind David Warner and Steve Smith of the sandpaper gate event which led to a year-long ban on the duo.
Cricket Australia handed Smith and Warner a one-year ban for instructing youngster, Cameron Bancroft to tamper with the ball in a Test match against South Africa in March 2018 in Cape Town. Bancroft was banned for 9 months.
After their ban, both the players have come back strongly. Warner had two big IPL seasons, a World Cup, and a triple century in Test cricket. Smith has been amongst runs in the Ashes last year, and now in the ongoing ODI series against India, he has struck back to back hundreds and is looking set to pile up runs in the upcoming 4 match Test series.
They have to pick that fight: Zaheer Khan
David Warner has two fifties, and Smith has two centuries in the first couple of ODI against India. Considering their outstanding form, Zaheer Khan funnily said that Ravi Shastri should tell his players to sledge the Aussie duo by reminding them of their actions in South Africa. Zaheer believes this might bring out the intensity in the contest.
Speaking with Cricbuzz, Zaheer Khan said, “Knowing the coach Ravi Shastri, he should take a leaf out of old school cricket and maybe remind Smith and Warner about what has happened a couple of years back (sandpaper gate). At times when things aren’t going your way, you just have to find something to bring out that intensity.”
The 42-year-old believes that India needs to pick a fight in order to unsettle Smith and Warner. However, Zaheer Khan says that the sledging should be done by staying within the boundaries. He understands that Shastri, who is known for his bold words, could lit the fire in the Indian dressing room.
The 2011 World Cup-winning bowler feels that if India doesn’t find a way to stop the Steve Smith juggernaut. They could be spending long hours toiling in the field in the Test series. The 4-match Border-Gavaskar Test series commences on December 17th in a pink ball day-night fixture in Adelaide.
“They have to pick that fight maybe. Not in a bad way — staying within the boundaries and bringing out that intensity at times. Forget about what is going your way, what’s not, and just get in the zone, which really helps bring out the best in you.
“Ravi has been good at it. So, I think that’s something he should definitely ponder because it’s going to be a long tour. They should try everything and anything possible,” Zaheer Khan added.