Australia captain Tim Paine is confident that Steve Smith will soon find form in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series. Smith has managed just ten runs in the two Tests and India seem to have done their homework with regards to the star batsman.
Team India levelled the series in Melbourne as they secured a comfortable eight-wicket win on Day 4.
The Indian bowlers have targetted Steve Smith's pads by bowling straight and keeping a leg-side field. The shrewd tactic has paid rich dividends for the Men in Blue as the Indian bowlers have successfully restricted Smith so far.
However, Paine feels that the 31-year-old has faced such challenges in the past and is confident that Smith will return to form. Speaking in a press conference, Paine said:
"From what I’ve seen watching, say, Marnus (Labuschagne) and Steve Smith in their test career, it’s not the first time teams have targeted their stumps, That happens every single test match. Except these (India) guys are executing it better. Someone like Steve just hasn’t been able to get in yet. Once he does, he’ll find a way as he always has. The rest of us will follow suit. We need to improve, no doubt about that.”
When asked about potential changes in the playing XI for the third Test, Tim Paine was coy and didn't talk much about personnel change.
"I just think we need to bat better; it doesn’t matter who’s out there — we need to be scoring runs. That’s our job as a top seven of the Australian cricket team. Obviously, they’ll (selectors) look at other people." Paine added.
Steve Smith's batting woes so far
With scores of 1,1*,0, and 8 in four Test innings, Smith has probably never seen such a wretched run of form in his Test career. Given the way he smashed a couple of 62-balls centuries in the ODIs against India, it seemed a given that he would make merry against the Indian bowlers in the Test series. However, the Indian bowlers, and Ravichandran Ashwin in particular, have had his number.
Steve Smith recently said that he has allowed Ashwin to 'dictate terms' and that he would have to put more pressure on the off-spinner in the next match. Will Smith return to form? Or will Ashwin continue to dominate? Only time will tell.Published 29 Dec 2020, 20:55 IST