Australian superstar Steve Smith, who missed the last Test series against India when Virat Kohli and Co. toured the Kangaroo-land in 2018-19 due to ball-tampering scandal, would be the biggest threat for the Indian bowlers in the upcoming four-match red-ball series.
Smith loves batting against India, and his stunning stats are a testament to his prowess. The right-handed batsman has so far played 10 Test matches against India where he has scored 1,429 runs at a scintillating average of 84.06.
Ahead of the most-awaited series, batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has revealed a plan that he believes would help Indian pacers to dismiss Smith – who bats with an unconventional technique
Tendulkar wants Indian pacers to bowl in the fifth-stump channel to Smith, shifting to that wider line to account for his pronounced shuffle across his stumps.
“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 (of delivery) moves further away by four to five inches,” Tendulkar told PTI.
“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.
“Smith, I read, said he is ready for the short-pitched stuff… probably he is expecting bowlers to be aggressive upfront 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.
The Indian pace-bowling unit – Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav – is a “potent one” but Tendulkar wants the team management to identify a defensive bowler as well.
“As I have always said, we have one of the best and most balanced bowling attacks India has ever had. Eventually, you have to pick 20 wickets to win Test matches. But 20 wickets shouldn’t be too expensive either.
“…along with our attacking bowlers, we should also identify bowlers who can hold one end up on unresponsive pitches, bowl those continuous maiden overs to build the pressure,” the Mumbaikar concluded.
Australia will host India in three ODIs, as many T20Is and four Tests.