With Steve Smith’s presence as a significant factor in the upcoming Test series against India down under, the build-up has mainly surrounded him. India and Australia will clash in the four-Test series in December as the tourists prepare for what could be a stern challenge compared to the one faced in 2018-19. But former Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has revealed a plan to negate Steve Smith.
Steve Smith, the former Australian captain, has been a thorn in India’s way in Test cricket for quite some time now. Even when Australia visited India back in early 2017, the 31-year old was head and shoulders above the rest, managing nearly 500 runs in the series. The much-vaunted Indian bowling attack, which fared exceedingly well in 2018-19, could have a challenging time on this occasion. The absence of Virat Kohli from three out of four Tests could aggravate it.
Sachin Tendulkar pointed out that Steve Smith’s technique is unconventional and against most batsmen, the advise is to bowl around off-stump or fourth-stump line. However, since the former Australian captain shuffles, the line moves away by four or five inches. According to Tendulkar, the key is to aim at the fourth or fifth stump line to him, enabling him to nick one.
“Smith’s technique is unconventional. Normally, we tell a bowler in Test matches to bowl on and around off stump or maybe fourth-stump line. But for Smith, because he shuffles, maybe that line moves further away [from off stump] by four to five inches. One has to aim between [an imaginary] fourth and fifth stump for Steve to nick one. It’s just a mental adjustment of line, more than anything else,” Sachin Tendulkar told PTI.
Steve Smith needs to be tested on and around that off-stump channel: Sachin Tendulkar
The 47-year old understands that Steve Smith has kept himself ready for the short-pitched delivery, a supposed weakness of his that has been doing rounds for quite a few weeks now. Tendulkar believes that instead of being aggressive, the Indian bowlers needs to bowl the probing line off-stump channel. Also, the seamers has to keep Smith on the back foot to force the early mistake.
“Smith, I read, said he is ready for the short-pitched stuff, probably he is expecting bowlers to be aggressive up front with him. But I think he needs to be tested on and around that off-stump channel. Keep him on [the] back foot and induce that early mistake,” he added.