India vs Australia: The Indian side has come with 'fantastic' plans for Steve Smith, says Michael Hussey
Former Australian cricketer Michael Hussey has pointed out that the Indian cricket team has come all prepared for Steven Smith and the World No. 1
Former Australian cricketer Michael Hussey has pointed out that the Indian cricket team has come all prepared for Steven Smith and the World No. 1 being unable to score is a "huge blow" for the Australians in the ongoing Border Gavaskar series.
Smith, who averages over 65 in Test cricket, has scores of 1, 1* and 0, 8 from the opening two Tests against India. The Australians lost by eight wickets in the recently concluded Boxing Day Test, which ended inside four days and India levelled the series 1-1, with two more Tests to go.
Praising India's "fantastic" plans for Smith, Hussey has said that India are bowling straight, attacking the stumps, and setting a leg-side field for him to cut off scoring options.
"Steve Smith has not been able to get going in this series at all and it is a huge blow for Australia and their chances in this series. India have come to Australia with fantastic plans for Smith. India are attacking the stumps, bowling straight, setting leg-side field to cut off scoring options and it is really working," Hussey said in a video posted by ESPN Cricinfo.
"Last summer, the New Zealand team got Smith out a few times with the short bowl. I have noticed, Bumrah in particular, he has been bowling short and pushing Steve Smith back and then attacking the stumps, looking for LBW or bowling him out. So, big form worries for Steve Smith. He is a great player and we would expect him to work his way out of it," he added.
After getting bowled out for 36 at the Adelaide Oval and with no Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma, and Ishant Sharma, it was a brilliant turnaround by the Indian team to win the second Test. Led by stand-in-skipper Ajinkya Rahane, the Indian team also went closer to the final of the World Test Championship 2020-21.
Australia have also been dealing with Marnus Labuschagne's poor form and according to Hussey, India are using the batsman's vulnerabilities to their advantage.
"Marnus Labuschagne came with so much expectation into the series that he was going to have another prolific season, but unfortunately, it has not really worked out that way just yet. Indians have got a really good plan for him and they know he is a little bit vulnerable for LBWs. So, they are bowling very straight to him and setting leg-side field to cut off the run-scoring options and they are attacking the stumps all the time," Hussey added.
Ahead of the Sydney Test, Australia have dropped struggling opening batsman Joe Burns and have added David Warner and Will Pucovski to their squad.
"David has made strong progress in his recovery from injury and will be given every chance to play in Sydney with another seven days until the match. Sean has fully recovered from a calf strain and is also available for selection. Will is in the final stages of the graduated return to play protocols and has been symptom free for some time. He will be fit to play in Sydney subject to completing the return to play protocols and an independent assessment..
Joe Burns has been released from the squad and will return to the Brisbane Heat. Unfortunately, Joe's returns haven't been what he or the selectors would like or what we consider he is capable of," Cricket Australia Selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement on Wednesday.
The third Test between India and Australia is set to start from Jan. 7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).