Despite being one of the best batsmen of the world in Test cricket, Australia’s Steve Smith seems to have a definite problem against quality short-pitched bowling. He was concussed after being hit by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the Ashes, which gave way to New Zealand targeting Smith with short stuff and reaping rewards through Neil Wagner. India too have the likes of Jasprit Bumrah,Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma who can use the short ball to good effect in the upcoming Test series against Smith. Andrew McDonald, Australia’s assistant coach, however is unperturbed by that thought.
McDonald doesn’t see bouncers to be the weakness of Smith and said India are welcome to try it out if they feel like in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy starting from December 17.
“Even in one-day cricket and T20 cricket, he’s been able to score runs with that plan being adopted by opponents.. So, I don’t necessarily see it as a weakness … they (India) can keep approaching it that way if they want,” said McDonald.
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Virat Kohli and his men did try it when Australia played three one-day internationals in India earlier this year, and a repeat of the ploy wouldn’t surprise.
“It’s going to be a tactic a lot of bowling units will use against our top-line batters, especially with four men out in one-day cricket,” McDonald said.
“They’ve used that tactic before and he’s (Smith) done well on it before. I’m suggesting that plan hasn’t necessarily worked to its full effect.”
Smith and Davidd Warner were not a part of the Australian side when India registered their first ever Test series on Australian spil the last time they went there in 2018-19. The return of the dynamic duo is set to give Australia a big advantage especially when India skipper Kohli will flay back after the first Test match in Adelaide.
India and Australia will clash in the first of the three one-day internationals in Sydney on Friday. They will also play three Twenty20 matches before a four-test series gets underway.