Former Australian skipper Allan Border is of the opinion that star batsman Steve Smith's poor form is costing Australia in the ongoing Test series against India. The 31-year-old claimed to have 'found his hands' before the ODI series and scored back-to-back centuries in one day format.
However, in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Steve Smith has scored only 10 runs at an average of just 3.33 so far in four innings. Moreover, he has struggled against Ravichandran Ashwin's spin bowling, which was not a problem for him in the past.
In the second innings of the Boxing Day Test, a big knock was expected from Steve Smith to bring the hosts back into the game. However, he perished for just eight runs and was bowled behind the legs by Jasprit Bumrah.
While speaking to foxsports.com.au, Border explained how the Indian bowlers have exposed Steve Smith's weakness of missing the ball while shuffling across and trying to play shots on the onside.
“He (Steve Smith) has lost his hands. He found his hands in the one-dayers, where he looked fantastic. I think they’ve really found a worrying weakness. He walks across the stumps to get to that onside, with those two fielders they had today, it worries him that he is going to chip it to them if he’s not careful and the bowling is high quality," noted Allan Border.
Allan Border feels the Indian bowlers might even try the short ball ploy against Steve Smith
Another area where Steve Smith needs to improve according to Border is tackling the short ball. New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner troubled Smith last summer with the short ball ploy and the latter found it difficult to counter.
Border reckons even the Indian bowlers could come up with a similar plan going ahead in the Test series.
“They’ve found a chink in there with the short ball and those sorts of things. He got roughed up there last year. There’s been a few Test matches, where people have been looking at those idiosyncrasies and finding those chinks," said Border.
However, Border is also well aware that Steve Smith is a champion batsman and believes he will find a way to sort out his weaknesses.
“He never misses, but he is starting to miss. So that’s something for him to take on board. Instead of hitting 20,000 balls, he’ll hit 30,000 balls next week. He will find a way,” he added.
Australia ended day three of the second Test on 133-6 and have a lead of only 2 runs. It will require a herculean effort from the hosts' lower-order to post a challenging target for the visitors.Published 28 Dec 2020, 15:21 IST