Steven Smith will have no problem if Indian bowlers attempt to attack him with short field bowls in both the limited and test series of overs, according to Australia’s assistant coach Andrew McDonald.
Smith himself has encouraged India to pepper him in test cricket, but McDonald believes they can try it in the limited series too.
He was beaten up by Jofra Archer at Ashes last year and was subsequently attacked by New Zealand’s Neil Wagner last summer, but also missed Australia’s most recent ODI series in England due to a concussion he suffered on the net.
Smith had an IPL adjusted to his standards for the Rajasthan Royals, where McDonald was his coach. He scored 311 runs in 14 innings with three half centuries. Ten of his 12 layoffs came against the bowling rhythm, with Pat Cummins firing him twice, while Jasprit Bumrah, Anrich Nortje and James Pattinson also did it for little money.
“I don’t think it’s a weakness,” McDonald said. “I think they are taking an opportunity in that area to get it out early and then what they will see after that initial potential plan, they will go to a more standard plan to try to cancel the races.
“I think they’ve used it before and like I said, it’s done well before, so I’m suggesting that the plan hasn’t necessarily worked to its full effect. I know in the test match he had that moment with Archer where he got it. but in terms of going back he was able to score runs. Even in one-day cricket he was able to score and in T20 cricket he has been able to score runs with that plan adopted by the opponents. They necessarily see it as a weakness, but they can go on. approaching that way if you want. “
McDonald cited Australia’s last ODI series against India in January, where Smith scored 98 and 131.
“They had a clear plan early on in the innings where they had a leg ravine, a deep square and a man in front of the square and all offside in the power play,” McDonald said.
“That’s a tactic that they’ve used before and, like I said, it’s probably to deny the runs he scores and try to give themselves the best chance to get him out in that area. But he was able to fight that in India for the last time. He got a great one. 131 at the last ODI in Bangalore and made a significant contribution to Rajkot. But he’s had it before and he’s gotten through it and I see this series is no different in the way it approaches. “
McDonald is caring for the small group of players who have returned to Australia from the IPL at a quarantine center in Sydney, with the help of Ricky Ponting, who has been seconded by Cricket Australia to train during the quarantine. The Australian government’s strict quarantine rules for international travelers mean players and coaches can only leave their hotel room for three and a half hours a day to train in Blacktown, with nets and central wickets available, before spending the rest. . of the time in isolation until his mandatory 14-day quarantine ends on Thursday before the opening of ODI against India on Friday.
McDonald said each player had been able to work through an individual program in the first week, with some players opting to rest for a week, while others opted for high-volume training depending on how they fared in the IPL.
McDonald was also unfazed by the form of Captain Aaron Finch. Finch was eliminated by Royal Challengers Bangalore during the IPL by compatriot Josh Phillippe, who was left out of the ODI and T20 squads but has been training with the group in quarantine.
“He definitely struggled a bit in the IPL,” McDonald said. “I think he has regained control of his game. He is preparing well for the game on the 27th. There are a couple of little things he is working on in the last few weeks to make sure he can rectify that possible lack of form in the game. IPL They are little technical things and mindset things that you always return to by default, to build in series.
“When you’re in a tournament, sometimes you don’t have the time to get away and rebuild it a bit, so I think these two weeks, for the players who probably didn’t have the IPL that they wanted to have, it gives them a little time to breathe and reworking the key focus points in a training environment where there are not so many pressures and strains. I think he is getting good results there and I think he will be right. “