Ashes 2019: Sachin Tendulkar dissects Steve Smith’s technical adjustments

Smith adjusted well to threats posed by England’s bowlers, Tendulkar demonstrates on Twitter.

Steve Smith was the highest run-getter in the Ashes series, with 774 runs.   -  Getty Images

Sachin Tendulkar has provided his observations on the batting technique of Steve Smith that enabled him to hit a purple patch at the recently concluded Ashes series. Smith scored 774 runs in the four Tests he played, scoring three centuries and three half-centuries.

Tendulkar pointed to the adjustments he made initially to deal with the threat of getting nicked off to the slips. “In the first Test, against Smith, the English bowlers tried getting him out [in the slips]. The slip cordon had three slips and a gully. What [Smith] started doing was — he would shuffle across, and expose his leg-stump, so that he covered the [outside-the-off-stump] line. He was leaving deliveries and was selective very smartly,” he said in a video posted on Twitter.

However, when England decided to deal with his adjustment by providing for slip fielders on the leg-side, Smith ensured he didn’t move his left leg across, Tendulkar pointed out.

Read | Ganguly dismisses comparisons between Smith, Kohli

“Whenever there was a leg-slip, he would not go across and expose his leg stump because he knew that the bowlers were targetting him in that area where if you go [across], it would be difficult to keep the ball down. It’s always going to go uppishly. But if you hold your left leg there (covering leg stump), then you’re constantly on top of the ball,” Tendulkar said.

Short-ball threat

Smith got into trouble dealing with short deliveries against Jofra Archery at Lord’s as he had an ineffective way of ducking, Tendulkar observed. However, he rectified his error quickly.

 

“In the fourth and fifth Test, he was leaving the ball [by crouching correctly] rather than [tilt backwards]. So, his head was going forward, and whenever Jofra Archer tested him out with short-pitched stuff into his body, he was leaving the ball [correctly],” Tendulkar said.

Earlier, Tendulkar had appreciated Smith’s performances in the Ashes by writing on Twitter: “Complicated technique but an organised mindset is what sets Steve Smith apart. Incredible comeback.”