With the Indian Premier League done and dusted, the focus has shifted to the upcoming series between India and Australia. Leading to the series, former Australia skipper Steve Smith has started mind games challenging Indian fast bowlers, who ran a riot the last time they toured in 2018-19.
Meanwhile, Indian pacers will have to play a similar role if they are to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma bagged a total of 51 wickets in the four matches with Australia getting bowled out 7 times out of 8 during the series.
The fast bowlers used the short-pitch deliveries to good effect against the Australian batters. Considering how Steve Smith and some of his other teammates struggled against Neil Wagner’s short bowling against New Zealand in the 2019-2020 season, it is a no-brainer that India pacers would definitely try it out in the upcoming series.
Steve Smith challenges Indian pacers
However, Steve Smith has conceded that India will be on the backfoot if they target the bodies of the Australian batters. Incidentally, Australia’s three leading batsmen – Steve Smith, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne – got out a combined 10 times to Wagner’s short deliveries.
“It’s no dramas for me. I just play the game and sum up the conditions, how they’re trying to get me out and being able to counter that,” Steve Smith told News Corp. “I mean, a few different oppositions have tried it and they’ve certainly found it more difficult to [execute it] the way Wagner did. He’s got an amazing skill set where his speeds go up and down…everything is between your ribs and your head.
“If teams are trying to get me out like that it’s probably a big benefit for the team because it takes a lot out of people’s bodies if you continually bowl short. I’ve faced a lot of short bowling in my life and I haven’t had too many stresses with it. I suppose we’ll just wait and see,” he added.
The four-match series is scheduled to start on December 17 in Adelaide but the hype has already gripped the fans with the demand for tickets touching sky high.