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Ashes 2019: How to combat Steve Smith-threat - Stats reveal

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 10-09-2019 HT Correspondent
© Reuters/Carl Recine

Following his 211 and 82 at Old Trafford, Manchester, Steve Smith goes to The Oval with 671 runs in the current series and as England captain Joe Root confessed that the right-hander has been the difference between the two sides right through the series. Smith has been relentless for his side and such has been excellence, that it has also ironed the few chinks in the Australian batting order. "He [Smith] has done a lot for Australian cricket for the last few years actually, and so has Dave Warner," Langer said.

"But we've also got to remember, Travis Head is new to Test cricket, Marnus is new to Test cricket, Marcus Harris is new to Test cricket, Cameron Bancroft is new to Test cricket. You can't just give them that experience, they've got to earn that and we're very thankful to have Steve batting."

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England, on the other hand, have been trying all series to get the better of the right-hander and barring the short ball from Jofra Archer which hit him on the neck at Lord's, Smith has looked absolutely flawless right through the Ashes. England are indeed clutching at straws, and they should pay attention to details.

As far as the numbers are concerned, Smith, for all his brilliance, has tapered off against left-arm spin and this is where Joe Root needs to be more persistent and attacking with Jack Leach.

If we take a look at his strike-rate, Smith has the lowest against Ravindra Jadeja — who is also a left-arm orthodox bowler.

Also, 3 out of 4 of his lowest strike-rate are against left- arm orthodox — Ravindra Jadeja, Rangana Herath and Keshav Maharaj.

a screenshot of a cell phone © Provided by HT Digital Streams Limited

He has been dismissed by left-arm bowlers on 22 occasions and averages just 37.14 against them. The devil, as they say, is in the details and England need to realise that this is the one window of opportunity they need to capitalise on when action resumes at the Oval.

Also watch: England's performance was an accident waiting to happen

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(Video provided by ESPNcricinfo)

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