Andrew McDonald, ahead of the series against India, has opined that he doesn’t see short-balls as Steve Smtih’s weakness, with teams having tried it before at him without much effect. He also warned people against judging Smith too harshly against his own standards that he has shown.
Since his return, Steve Smith has been peppered with short-deliveries, a tactic that was employed by both New Zealand and England during their series, which has caused the right-hander some trouble. While Jofra Archer managed to shake up Smith, Neil Wagner constantly dismissed him with the same strategy. However, ahead of the India series, Smith was peppered with the questions about bowlers bowling short to him.
Smith shook it off and now Australia’s assistant coach Andrew McDonald, too, has opined that he doesn’t see short deliveries as Steve Smith’s weakness. The Australian, who has seen the right-hander in close quarters, suggested that the 31-year-old has constantly worked on scoring runs off that type of deliveries.
"I know within a Test match he had that moment with Archer where he got him,” McDonald told cricket.com.au.
"But in terms of coming back off that, he was still able to score runs. Even in one-day cricket and T20 cricket, he's been able to score runs with that plan being adopted by opponents. So, I don't necessarily see it as a weakness … they can keep approaching it that way if they want," McDonald added.
The former Australian all-rounder also stated that the visitors had tried this ploy last time around, to no effect, with Smith tackling the short-deliveries ever so nicely. He also reckoned that this time around, Smith won’t change his approach a lot and will continue to tonk the short-deliveries to good effect.
"But he was able to combat that in India last time … so he’s had that before and he’s worked his way through it. I see this series being no different in the way he approaches it.”
Coming into the limited-overs series, Smith is on the back of a poor-show for the Rajasthan Royals in the recently concluded edition of the IPL. With just 311 runs to his name, Smith’s average numbers of 25.91 and a strike rate of 131.22 couldn’t take the team to the playoff stage. McDonald warned that Smith’s ‘high-standards’ have led to the criticism but reckoned that it’s too harsh.
"The standards he's set have been pretty high over a long period of time. So any time he has a slight drop off, it comes up for discussion and some criticism at times,” McDonald added.
"He's preparing as well as he can be. I'm not guaranteeing that he's going to perform in the one-day series, but he's given himself the best chance to do that."