Ashes 2019: England's tactics played into my hands, says Smith
England's tactics of bowling short against Steve Smith in the ongoing fourth Ashes 2019 Test didn't pay any dividends. Joe Root's side wanted to feed off from Jofra Archer's bouncer that felled Smith at Lord's and saw him miss the third Test with a concussion. However, Smith was ready and thrashed England on Day 2. Here's what he said.
Smith went on to score a magnificent 211 against England after resuming at 60* on Day 2. He was beaten several times by Stuart Broad with some superb length balls. However, England's decision to bowl short helped Smith gain command. Archer, in particular, had a terrible day. And things somehow just played into Smith's hands.
"I've faced a lot of short-pitched bowling in my life and haven't had many issues with it," said Smith. "For England to be bowling up at my head on day two means they can't get me lbw or caught behind. It softens the ball up as well so it played into our hands and enabled us to score some big first-innings runs," he added.
Smith was quick to point out the Broad factor and how England's approach on a pitch different from Lord's helped the visitors pile on the runs. "He (Broad) was quite challenging when he hit that length but for them to go as short as they did as early as they did with the new ball played into our hands."
This was Smith's third Ashes 2019 century in four innings so far. The magician also smashes his 26th career Test ton to equal Gary Sobers. Smith has amassed 589 runs in this series at an average of 147.25. Notably, he missed the third Test and the second innings at Lord's as well. This series has belonged to Smith and nothing can defy his charge.
Smith has been the difference in Ashes 2019 and Aussies may well retain the Ashes. They have all the credentials to perform in Manchester and take a 2-1 lead. England's poor approach with the ball was questionable. Smith came out and defied them.