Australian cricketer Steve Smith made us revisit the era of cricket legend, Sir Don Bradman with his formidable batting performance in the recently concluded Ashes Series. He scored 774 runs in seven innings with an average of 110.57. It was clearly visible that English bowlers lacked a robust strategy to stop him. Out of seven innings he played, he got out only once for less than 50 runs. Jofra Archer was the only bowler who troubled him for a while in the second test. What made Steve Smith so impeccable? His technique, mindset or determination?
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar expressed his views on Smith’s batting technique in a video post. He said that England bowlers targeted off stump for smith in the first test, but to counter them, Smith shuffled across the off stump and made sure ball comes straight on the bat. He had the right mindset in choosing which ball to play and which to leave. In the second test, England had leg slip for him, as it is difficult for any batsman to keep the ball down. To counter this, Smith adjusted his technique by not moving his left leg and placed himself on top of the ball. This way he managed to play or flick the ball easily and avoided the risk of being caught in leg slip.
Sachin also explained the loophole in his technique, particularly against Jofra Archer. Smith had problems facing short pitch deliveries that are too quick and gather extra bounce. Archer quickly identified the same and made Steve Smith lose his balance. Sachin also explained the reason behind this – ideal position for a batsman to save his head is to keep it forward or at least straight. Smith, in his attempt to cover the off stump, kept his head back and tried to play defense. In repeated attempts, he lost balance and had to suffer several head blows.
But Smith is too smart to identify and correct his mistakes, Tendulkar added. He said Smith worked on his technique and came up with a solution in the fourth test. He started to leave short pitch deliveries keeping his head forward and keeping his left shoulder down. But the best thing about Steve Smith was his technique of keeping his left leg straight whenever there is a leg slip in position, said Tendulkar. For the same reason, Tendulkar called this technique complex but duly supported by an extremely organized mindset.