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HomeAustraliaSouth Africa plot strategy to tackle Steve Smith

South Africa plot strategy to tackle Steve Smith



Last Updated on 1 year by Charbel Coorey

Cricket News: South Africa plot strategy to tackle Steve Smith | South Africa plan for the right lengths to Steve Smith

South Africa will bowl fuller to Steve Smith earlier on in his innings in their upcoming Test series as a part of their newly devised ploy to counter the Australian vice-captain. This marks a shift from the earlier tactic of bowling short to Smith that most teams used to deploy against the 33-year-old. However, the batsman has since changed his technique in a way that allows him to duck more and open up more space to pull deliveries on the leg side.

“The key to most of the top six is the first 20 balls and to make them play. Steve has changed. He is not on the move anymore and he has got a good base now where he is not moving around the crease as much,” South African bowling coach Charl Langeveldt was quoted in a report by ESPNcricinfo.

He added, “I think it is going to be a good challenge for our boys. The boys are up for the challenge but the key is going to be that first 20 balls where we need to really make him play more.”

Smith has a rather substandard record in nine Tests against South Africa considering his lofty record against other oppositions. With 29 centuries and 36 half-centuries, his career average stands at 60.99 after 89 Tests. However, he averages 41.53 in nine Tests vs the Proteas. He has only a solitary century and three half-centuries to his name against them after 17 innings.

He notched a double century (200*) in the first innings of Australia’s opening match of their two-match Test series against West Indies at Perth. He is coming into this series on the back of a good run of form and is confident of tackling the threat posed by the Protean attack. “I feel in a good place, I feel like I am batting nicely. I feel in good rhythm and I am looking forward to it,” Smith mentioned in the build-up to the first Test against South Africa at the Gabba.

Tarkesh Jha
Tarkesh Jhahttps://twitter.com/jha_tarkesh
Tarkesh is a passionate cricket fan from India. He specialises in reporting on news from around the cricketing world as well as putting together opinion pieces. You can connect with Tarkesh on Twitter (X) at: https://twitter.com/jha_tarkesh

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