Steve Smith has heaped praises on New Zealand’s fast bowler Neil Wagner for his capability to bowl short-pitched deliveries. Australia and New Zealand played 3 Test matches from December 2019 to January 2020 and the hosts were able to register massive wins in all three fixtures and whitewashed the Kiwis 3-0. In that series, Wagner was the second-highest wicket-taker with 17 scalps from three matches with best figures of five for 50.
Back then, Steve Smith played 5 innings and was dismissed by Neil Wanger four times. Smith has lauded Wanger for his short-pitched deliveries.
“Looking back at the last Test series, Neil Wagner got the better of me, he’s pretty good at what he does, he possesses a set of skills that not many people can do and he does it for a long period of time. While I had some contributions, my strike rate was down, but Test cricket, that’s the beauty of it, you can bat for as long as you like and form partnerships and I was able to do that,” Smith said, as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
“So if others want to take that kind of approach then great. It’s not the same as what Neil does, the way he bowls it. I think what you’re alluding to is a short-pitched bowling sort of approach that others might take, and people can go for that. In a way, it’s a bit of flattery if people believe that the only way they can get me out because they’ve exhausted so many more options, it gives me a lot of confidence to know that.”
He’s Really Patient And he’s Able to do it All Day: Steve Smith
The most-anticipated clash between India and Australia is just a few days away. Meanwhile, Smith has cleared his point that Indian Pacers wouldn’t be able to recreate the kind of bowling Wanger did. The white-ball series starts on November 27 followed by the Test series, starting December 17 at the Adelaide Oval.
“You look at Neil Wagner’s career, the way he bowls, I think he’s the No. 2 Test bowler in the world or something like that [No. 3] and you see the majority of wickets he’s got are from short-pitched bowling and the way they set that field up,” he said.
“He’s really patient and he’s able to do it all day. There are not too many quick bowlers who can run in and bowl bouncers all day, and I guess the way Neil does it is particularly special.
“It was just tough to get a real rhythm against because balls were coming out at different paces. So I think he’s got a pretty unique set of skills, the way he does it. He’s done it to not just me but to plenty of batsmen around the world. It’s different to when anyone else has tried to do it,” Smith added.
In the last clash between India and Australia, Steve Smith couldn’t take part due to his ban after the ball-tampering scandal in New Zealand. In such a case, it will be interesting to see how he will attack the Indian bowlers.