Steve Smith opens up about his recent struggles against Ravichandran Ashwin

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Ashwin
Ashwin has dismissed Smith twice so far in the ongoing series. (Rediff)
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Steve Smith has been enduring a rare slump and as a result, is yet to assert his stake during the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series. One of the key points to take from the tests has been Smith’s struggle against off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. 

The recent winner of ICC’s Test Batsman of the decade is yet to enter the double figures across 3 innings so far. While Smith was dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah in the second innings, he was left rattled by Ashwin’s spin web.

Smith
Ashwin has dismissed Smith twice so far in the ongoing series. (Rediff)

A lot of talk was set in place for the tactics that India should employ to minimise the test specialist’s threat. The majority of the inputs involved the use of the short ball or the fifth stump line, but so far it has been just pure off-spin that has been doing the trick.

Speaking to SEN, Smith revealed that he wished he had played Ashwin with more intent and aggression. The lack of command forced Smith to be on the metaphorical backfoot.

 “I probably haven’t played Ashwin as well as I would’ve liked; I probably would’ve liked to have put him under a bit more pressure,”

He went on to add that it is the first time he has not asserted command over a spinner in his career. When asked about the means to rectify this ongoing slump, Smith feels that he just needs time in the middle.

“I haven’t allowed that to happen, probably because I’m searching for just being out there for long enough. It’s kind of a two-edged sword in a way, but I think I’ve just got to have the confidence to take it on and play my game,”

“At the moment I’m searching for time in the middle; that’s the most important thing for me. When I look at this year, 64 balls is the longest I’ve spent in the middle, during those one-day games.

To conclude, the former all-rounder asserted the importance of being out there in the middle since there is nothing that can replicate it. At the end of the day, despite the net practice and the training, it is the rhythm on the pitch that counts.

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