England Bowler’s Bouncers and short bowling Played into my Hands, says Steve Smith Ashes run-machine
Australia’s Ashes running machine Steve Smith said England’s short bowling and bouncers played in his hands after his excellent 211 innings put tourists in command of the fourth test on Thursday. Australia declares 497 for eight and eliminates England opening batsmen Joe Denly when Joe Root’s team finished the second day with 474-runs behind.
Smith lost the third test, won by England at Headingley with a remarkable return, due to concussion. That injury came after he was hit by England pacemaker Jofra Archer at Lord’s, but although England tried to make Smith uncomfortable with the short bowling at Old Trafford, he believes it helped accumulate his third double-ton test.
Smith had offered a reminder before this match that, for all the attention in his duel with Archer on a tricky track at Lords, the England bowler had not yet taken him out.
“The Lord was a hard wicket and it was up and down, and with the slope, its angle was not very easy with the port up and down. It was hard work, says Steve Smith, whose lowest score in this series is the 92 he did in London.
I said before the game that if my head gets hit a lot, then they’re not bowling at my slabs and trying to get my weight off and get stuck behind the wicket. And I think maybe he played a little bit in our favor on these tickets.
-Smith on Stuart Broad Bowling-
Smith noted that the other England bowler, Stuart Broad, who picked up three wickets, had caused him more trouble bowling longer.
I think we saw when Stuart Broad showed up with the new ball, played some terrific lengths and hit my bat on the outside a couple of times and I was able to give him an inside lead.
It was quite challenging when it reached that length. To make them as short as they did and as soon as they did with the new ball, they softened that ball and played in our hands.
Smith’s consistency against England is remarkable: he has scored at least half a century in his last eight innings against Joe Root’s team.
The 30-year-old admitted he got lucky with Archer dropping a shot caught and thrown and surviving when he was surprised by Jack Leach, and the review of the video detected a no-ball.
But after missing the Headingley drama, he was delighted to return.
-Steve Smith on Missing Third Ashes-
“It was disappointing missing the third Test Ashes 2019 at Headingley, particularly with the way it ended up; it was a fantastic test match and a shame not to be a part of it.
It gave me enough time for recovery and to get my head back right after my concussion. I felt good coming into the fourth ashes, and I was confident, and fortunately, I scored some runs and put myself in a good position with 497 on the bench.