Steve Smith is one of those rare batsmen who don't have many chinks in the armor. So when a bowler finds one, it leads to a commotion. Neil Wagner, someone who has preserved the art of incessant and brutal short-pitch bowling, is that lucky bowler.
In the last Australian summer, Wagner dismissed Steve Smith four times using short deliveries. Although Steve Smith played bouncers well in the IPL, it was naturally being expected that the Indian pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma will use the trick against the number one ranked Test batsman.
It was in response to this expectation that first Steve Smith and his team's assistant, Andrew McDonald, dared Indian bowlers to come at him. Smith said that he has played a lot of short bowling in his career, and if Indians will try it, it might bode well for the Australian. McDonald too showed his trust in Steve Smith's preparation to play comfortably against the Indians.
Sunil Gavaskar warns Steve Smith about Mohammed Shami's skiddy bouncers
Now, Sunil Gavaskar, former India captain and a brilliant player of the short ball himself has joined the exciting debate. Gavaskar, who has the impending series named after him and Allan Border, believes that no batsman is ever ready for a good short ball. He also made his pick for the Indian bowler who can trouble Steve Smith the most.
“No one is ever ready for the short ball! A good short ball will trouble the best of batsmen. Nobody can say ‘I’m ready’,” Gavaskar told Sportstar.
“Mohammed Shami in particular has a fabulous bouncer. If he gets it right on target, then you can be pretty certain that not too many batsmen will be able to negotiate," he added.
“He is not very tall and his short ball will come skidding at you around your shoulder and head, and that’s the most difficult delivery to play. If his rhythm is right, he will not be an easy bowler to play,” Sunil Gavaskar said.
India will begin their defense of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on 17th December when Virat Kohli's men take on the Australians in their first-ever overseas pink ball Test match in Adelaide.Published 22 Nov 2020, 18:35 IST