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India tour of Australia

Steve Smith won’t be bothered by short-pitch bowling says Andrew McDonald

Australia’s star batsman Steve Smith will not have too much fending off short deliveries that Indian fast bowlers can be expected to serve up during the upcoming tour Down Under, according to the hosts’ assistant coach Andrew McDonald.

“I don’t think it’s a weakness, is it? They’re taking a shot at that area to get him out early and then what you’ll see after that initial potential plan they will go to a more standard try and negate the runs [plan],” McDonald said in a virtual interaction with the media.

“I think they’ve used it before and he’s done well on it before. I’m suggesting that plan hasn’t necessarily worked to its full effect.”

Smith was felled by a short ball from England’s Jofra Archer during the 2019 Ashes, which marked his return to Test cricket after serving a one-year ban. While he missed one Test because of the injury, he scored as many as 774 runs in the series at an average of 110.57.

Smith was then peppered with short deliveries by New Zealand’s Neil Wagner in the Test series between the two sides later in the year and he ended up scoring only 214 runs at an average of 42.80, Australia enjoyed a 3-0 whitewash in the series.

“I know with the Test match he had that moment with Archer where it got him. In terms of coming back off that he was able to score runs,” said McDonald.

“Even in one-day cricket he’s been able to score runs. In T20 cricket he’s been able to score runs with that plan being adopted by opponents. I don’t necessarily see it as a weakness but they can keep approaching it that way if they want.”

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