Australian batsman Steve Smith is one of the premier batsmen of his generation. He is used to dominating the opposition with his batting and was also recently named ICC’s Men’s Test Cricketer of the Decade. But things haven’t been going smoothly for Smith in the ongoing Test series against India. The Indian bowlers have dominated the proceedings against Smith with R Ashwin being the chief architect of his downfall.
Smith has scored only 10 runs in 4 innings in the series so far while being dismissed by Ashwin two times. Australia would need Smith to be at his best in the third Test as they look to bounce back from a demoralising 8-wicket loss to India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
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Talking about his duel with Ashwin, Smith lamented his failure to score runs in the series while also admitting that he has let off-spinner dictate terms in the series.
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“I probably haven’t played Ashwin as well as I would’ve liked. I probably would’ve liked to have put him under a bit more pressure,” Smith told SEN Radio.
“I’ve sort of let him dictate terms and that’s something I’ve probably never let any spinner do in my career. I’ve sort of taken it to them, been a bit more aggressive and made them change things,” he said.
“It’s kind of a two-edged sword in a way, but I think I’ve just got to have the confidence to take it on and play my game,” Smith continued.
“At the moment I’m searching for time in the middle; that’s the most important thing for me. When I look at this year, 64 balls is the longest I’ve spent in the middle, during those one-day games.
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Ashwin was also asked about Smith and the importance of his wicket and he said that India had made plans for him. Ashwin is happy that they have been able to execute those plans.
“Coming down to Australia and if you cannot get Steven Smith out, it is always going to be an uphill task,” he told Channel 7.
“He pretty much holds the batting line-up together.”