Smith doesn't have weakness against short ball, says McDonald
India and Australia are slated to lock horns against each other in three ODIs, three T20Is, and four Tests
Australia assistant coach Andrew McDonald on Sunday said that Steve Smith does not have a weakness against the short ball and he will have no problem if Indian bowlers resort to bowling bouncers at him.
India and Australia are slated to lock horns against each other in three ODIs, three T20Is, and four Tests. India and Australia will first lock horns against each other in ODIs and T20Is and then both sides will shift their attention to the longest format of the game.
“I don’t think it’s (short-ball) actually a weakness. I think they’re taking a shot at that area to get him out early and then what you’ll see after that initial potential plan, they will go to a more standard plan to try and negate the runs,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Mcdonald as saying.
“I think they’ve used it before and as I’ve said he’s done well before so I’m suggesting that plan hasn’t necessarily worked to its full effect. I know in the Test match he had that moment with Archer where it got him but in terms of coming back off that he was able to score runs. Even in one-day cricket, he was able to score and in T20 cricket he’s been able to score runs with that plan being adopted by opponents. I don’t necessarily see it as a weakness but they can keep approaching that way if they want,” he added.
Smith suffered a concussion last year as he was hit on the helmet by Jofra Archer during the Ashes and he was subsequently targeted by New Zealand’s Neil Wagner last year.
The right-handed batsman also missed the ODI series against England this year due to a concussion he suffered in the nets. Smith had a lean IPL as he scored just 311 runs in 14 innings for Rajasthan Royals with three half-centuries.
“They (India) had a clear plan early on in the innings where they had a leg gully, a deep square, and a man deep in front of square and everyone up on the offside in the powerplay,” McDonald said.
“That’s a tactic that they’ve used before and as I said it’s probably to negate the runs that he scores and try and give themselves the best opportunity to potentially get him out in that area. But he was able to combat that in India last time. He got a magnificent 131 in the last ODI at Bangalore and he made a significant contribution at Rajkot. But he’s had that before and he’s worked his way through it and I see this series as being no different in the way that he approaches,” he added.
Indian skipper Kohli will just be playing one Test against Australia, and then he will head back home after being granted paternity leave by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
During the 2018-19 series, India managed to record their first Test series win on Australian soil. Kohli-led side eventually won the series 2-1 and now they would be looking to retain the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
The first Test between India and Australia will commence from December 17 at the Adelaide Oval and this match will be a day-night contest.
The four-match series will be a part of the World Test Championship (WTC). Australia and India are at the top two spots in the WTC standings.
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