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AFP
September 20, 2019

‘Complicated technique but organised mindset’

Sports

AFP
September 20, 2019

MUMBAI: Sachin Tendulkar, who set a benchmark for batsmanship throughout his 24-year-long international career, praised Steve Smith, the top batsman in Tests right now, for his extraordinary comeback in red-ball cricket.

Tendulkar, for the most part of his career, was a dream wicket for any bowler and a nightmare for his opponents. So has Steve Smith been in the modern-day game, with his impeccable consistency in the longest format.

Tendulkar, in a social media post on Thursday, attempted to break down Smith’s batting during the Ashes. “In the first Test, the English bowlers tried to get him caught behind the wickets with slips and gully in place,” the Indian explained. “And Smith just shuffled across and exposed his leg stumps to cover the line, and was selective and smart in his approach. At Lord’s, they had leg-slip for him on occasions and a few short-pitched deliveries against Jofra Archer got him in trouble as he tried to cover the line with the weight on his back-foot.”

Smith got hit by a vicious Archer bouncer in the first innings at Lord’s and couldn’t return to bat in the second innings, ultimately forced to miss the following Test at Headingley as he recovered from a delayed concussion.

Smith, returning for the fourth Test in Manchester, registered his third hundred of the series and, this time, converted it into a double.

Tendulkar was impressed with how Smith had resurrected his technique and approach. “In the final two Tests, he was leaving the ball while leaning forward, and looked in better positions,” he said. “He worked on his technique very smartly. That is why I say, ‘complicated technique, but extremely organised mindset’.”

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