Sydney: Attempting to replicate Neil Wagner and rattle Steve Smith with a barrage of bouncers may not be a good idea for the visiting Indians in the upcoming series, according to Australia’s assistant coach Andrew McDonald.
Against New Zealand in the 2019-2020 season, Smith was dismissed by left-arm pacer Wagner four times, as the Kiwi consistently attacked the batsman with short-pitched deliveries aimed at his body.
But despite Smith’s recent issues with the short balls, McDonald doesn’t think the Australian run-machine has any weaknesses in his batting.
“I know within a Test match he had that moment with Archer where he got him,” McDonald said on Sunday.
“But in terms of coming back off that, he was still able to score runs. 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 can keep approaching it that way if they want.”
In recent times, quite a few bowlers tried to rattle Smith with short-pitched stuffs and the Australian had also suffered concussion on two occasions after being hit on the neck and head respectively.
The Indians also tried to employ the short-ball strategy against him during the three-match ODI series in January, but the 31-year-old Australian maestro responded with scores of 98 and 131.
“They had a leg gully, a deep square and a deep man just in front of square and they had everyone up on the off-side during the Powerplay.
“So that’s a tactic they’ve used before, and it’s probably to negate the runs that he scores and to 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 so he’s had that before and he’s worked his way through it. I see this series being no different in the way he approaches it.”
India play three ODIs, three T20s and four Tests starting 27 November. The ODI and T20 series will be played in Sydney and Canberra from 27 November to 8 December.
The much anticipated Test series begins with the day-night match at Adelaide from 17 December.
McDonald added, “They’ve used it before and he’s done well with it before so I’m suggesting that plan hasn’t necessarily worked to its full effect.”
“He’s working on it as he normally would and there doesn’t seem to be any sort of deficiency there.”
The Indian attack will comprise Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in lead roles. The tourists will call on Ishant Sharma if he recovers from the side injury sustained at the IPL. Umesh Yadav and the promising Navdeep Saini are also part of India’s Test squad.
Smith was not part of the previous series between the two teams as he was serving his one-year suspension for the ball-tampering scandal.