How should India roll to Steven Smith?

Two things were commonly said and written about Steven Smith’s batting style when he first started playing Test Cricket for Australia:

For one thing, he went too far over and his bat came down from somewhere near the gutter. The combination of the two left him vulnerable to inbound deliveries and an lbw candidate.

Second, because he relied so heavily on hand-eye coordination, he had to fail at sewing and turning pitches.

To be fair, given Smith’s unique technique, these observations were spot on.

Teams around the world worked out their plans against him based on these perceived weaknesses. They tried to roll full and straight in hopes of breaking his defenses and claiming his wicket over lbw.

Of course it has not borne fruit as we now know. Smith was fired LBW for just pacing up and down a few times in his testing career. Batsmen with supposedly more organized techniques like Virat Kohli, Joe Root, and Cheteshwar Pujara are more likely to be fired this way. As a result, the first theory was rejected.

In fact, watchers then began to talk about how stable he was at the time of his release and how his forefoot was always rooted on a stump, which made sure he never fell over. As for the bat, it looped at the top of its back lift but was in the perfect position in its stance (pointing between the goalkeeper and the first slip) so it fell off pretty straight.

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