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Spinner opens chink in old batting armour

AAP logoAAP 9/11/2016 Rob Forsaith and Andrew Drummond

Batsmen have been getting it their way for too long in Test cricket.

That's according to South African left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, who was responsible for the controversial lbw dismissal of captain Steve Smith during Australia's first-innings collapse of 10-86 in Perth.

The skipper was strides down the WACA pitch in a position where batsmen are usually considered safe against lbw rulings, when Maharaj struck with the first Test in the balance.

"The bowlers also need a chance now days - bats are getting bigger, grounds are getting smaller, it is nice having some things swing your way now and then," the tweaker told reporters in Hobart on Wednesday ahead of the second Test.

"It looked pretty straight to me and any bowler who hits the pads is going to appeal if there is half a positive that is going to come out of it."

Field umpire Aleem Dar agreed, giving Smith out lbw for a duck, in a ruling backed by the Decision Review System.

It was Maharaj's first Test wicket and one for his personal memoir.

"Having someone of his calibre as the first scalp is very special to me," said the bowler, who went on to take three more wickets in Perth on Test debut.

Ahead of travelling down under Maharaj got a few tips about Australian conditions from former South African left-arm spinner Paul Harris.

"I'm trying to replicate what he did because he was one of the most successful spinners for South Africa," the 26-year-old said of Harris, who notched up 37 Tests between 2007 and 2011.

"He said 'your job here is to rest the fast bowlers because conditions are in their favour rather than yours, and you will pick up a few wickets along the way. So try and stop the game from one end and let them strike'."

After a nervous start Maharaj said he settled but found the pace of Test cricket "intense".

"For five days you're focused on every ball."

The second Test starts at Bellerive Oval on Saturday.

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