After breaking records for fun in the Ashes, Steve Smith failed to get into his usual stride at the Gabba in the Sheffield Shield where he could only register the scores of a duck and 21 runs against Queensland. But he was back to his usual brilliant best against Tasmania and Western Australia, scoring a couple of tons, albeit on the slower tracks of Sydney.
With the first Test of the series versus Pakistan set to be played on a pacyGabba track, Smith said that he will once again go through the rigor of intense net sessions at Allan Border Field in order to adjust to the extra bounce on offer.
“I’m feeling good,” Steve Smith said. “I probably just have to try and get used to the bounce of the wicket again at the Gabba. It’s probably a little bit different from the last two Shield games I’ve played at Drummoyne and SCG, where they’ve been pretty benign wickets.
“I don’t think I had a slip in basically for the whole time I batted at Drummoyne and the SCG. I just found it hard scoring. There was no slip, there was a ring field, the square was pretty dead, and the wicket was pretty dead. There were a couple of times I hit and got it in the gap and thought ‘that’s runs. So I couldn’t get them away, but it’s nice to spend some time in the middle all the same.
“For me, the next few days is about getting used to the bounce at the Gabba and practicing leaving (the ball) well and just being patient again. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of that work in, and be good to go on Thursday,” he added.
Steve Smith is also bracing up to the challenge of facing Pakistan’s skillful pace attack. Mohammad Abbas is renowned for his control and the ability to extract subtle seam movement, capsulized by his impressive Test average of 18.86. Pakistan also possesses the young and promising pace trio of Shaheen Afridi, Muhammad Musa, and Naseem Shah.
“I’ve never faced Abbas…he stands the seam up, any sort of movement he’ll get the most out of it,” Smith said. “And it looks like Shah bowls with some good pace. Being as young as he is, he probably hasn’t bowled lots of overs consistently so it’ll be about making him come back and bowl as many spells as he can and see if he can maintain it.”
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