On of the biggest challenges for Indian cricket team aside from filling the Virat Kohli-size hole for the majority of the Australia Test tour will be to find a way to keep Steve Smith quiet. Alongside Kohli, Kane Williamson and Joe Root, Smith is regarded as one of the finest batsmen of the current generation.Also Read - Ravi Shastri Advised Virat Kohli to Quit ODI, T20I Captaincy: Reports
His Test record is excellent – an average of 62.84 in 73 matches for 7227 runs including 26 centuries and 29 fifties. He takes his game to another level when playing against India though aggregating 1429 runs at 84.05 in 10 matches. Also Read - India Are a World-Class Batting Line-Up: Australia Bowling Coach Ben Sawyer
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell reckons that bowling with different plans is the way to unsettle Smith. Also Read - IND vs ENG: Darren Gough Blames Virat Kohli & Co For Shopping Before 5th Test
“You have to unsettle him by changing plans,” Chappell told PTI. “If you bowl short of length, then he will be rocking back (and hitting for fun) all day. Somehow, you have got to get him to play forward even at the cost of few runs. But you will still have some chance of getting him out.”
One of the bowlers who has been quite successful against Smith is New Zealand left-arm pacer Neil Wagner whose well-directed short-deliveries have troubled the Aussie in the past. It’s a tactic which has been advised to be used against him but Chappell feels that it must be used judiciously.
“I believe that short-pitched stuff should be used judiciously. It should be a surprise weapon. What New Zealand did was a waste of energy. If you bowl a bouncer, make it count,” Chappell opined.. “Andy (Roberts) used to bowl different kinds of bouncer and every time I faced him, I had to do something about it.”
India and Australia will square off in a four-Test series starting with a Day-Night contest in Adelaide from December 17. And Chappell predicts batting first and scoring 300-plus runs will put the team on path to victory.
India though will be without the services of Ishant Sharma who failed to recover from an abdomen issue in time. The tourists will miss his ability to generate steep but Chappell reckons India have enough option.
“India have two smart quicks in Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. If you ask me, if the team batting first scores 300, you are on your way to winning the Test match at the Adelaide,” he said.
“I was having a drink with Ravi (Shastri) the other day and he told me that probably (Umesh) Yadav will get the nod as the third pacer,” he added.