Mumbai, Sep 19 (IANS) Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar dissected Australian batsman Steve Smith’s batting in the Ashes, analysing his technique and reason for success over five tests.
Smith helped Australia retain the Ashes by amassing 774 runs in the four tests he played, scoring three centuries and three half-centuries, with 211 his best.
“In the first Test, against Smith, the English bowlers tried getting him out (in the slips). The slip cordon had three slips and a gully. What Smith started doing was he would shuffle across, and expose his leg-stump, so that he covered the [outside-the-off-stump] line. He was leaving deliveries and was selecting very smartly,” Sachin said in a video he shared on his Twitter handle.
“Whenever there was a leg-slip, he would not go across and expose his leg stump because he knew that the bowlers were targetting him in that area where if you go [across], it would be difficult to keep the ball down. It’s always going to go uppishly. But if you hold your left leg there (covering leg stump), then you’re constantly on top of the ball,” Tendulkar said.
England’s promising young pacer Jofra Archer troubled Smith with his short stuff but the former Aussie skipper, Tendulkar observed, adjusted well to leave the balls correctly.
“In the fourth and fifth Tests, he was leaving the ball (by crouching correctly) rather than [tilt backwards]. So, his head was going forward, and whenever Jofra Archer tested him out with short-pitched stuff into his body, he was leaving the ball [correctly],” Tendulkar said.
Smith is currently the No.1 ranked Test batsman in the world.
The Ashes series was drawn 2-2 after five Tests.