Tendulkar breaks down Steve Smith
GENIUS recognises genius.
Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has offered a rare insight into what he describes as the "complicated technique but extremely organised mindset" of Aussie Ashes hero Steve Smith.
In a three-minute video uploaded to his social media channels, Test cricket's greatest run-scorer breaks down how Smith was able to recover from being brutally concussed by Jofra Archer at Lord's and continue to dominate the England bowlers.
Smith scored twin centuries - 144 and 142 - to give Australia a crucial 1-0 advantage at Edgbaston. And Tendulkar liked what he saw.
"In the first Test … the English bowlers tried getting him out (in the slips). The slip cordon was three slips and a gully," Tendulkar said.
"What he started doing was he would shuffle across and expose his leg stump, so that he covered this line (outside the off stump). He was leaving (deliveries) and being selective, very smartly."
Archer joined the England team for the second Test at Lord's and offered a different - and dangerous - new look for the Aussie No.4 to consider.
"At Lord's, especially against Jofra Archer, there were a few short-pitched deliveries that got him in trouble because he was actually getting in line (with the short ball) a little bit on the back foot. The most important thing for any batter is to keep your head position forward … or at least in line (with your feet)," Tendulkar offered.
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"That's why whenever the short ball was there from Archer and he wasn't pulling and he got in to defend, he got in to bad positions and that's how he also got hit.
"But I'm sure he's gone back and worked on his technique and his set-up … in the fourth and fifth Tests, against short-pitched bowling, he was leaving the ball (by ducking forwards) rather than (leaning 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.
Tendulkar also noticed Smith tweak his approach when England used a leg-slip.
"Whenever there was a leg-slip, he would not go across and expose his leg stump because he knew that the bowlers were targeting him in that area," he said.
"If you go (across your stumps), 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.
"The most important factor I noticed was whenever there was a leg-slip, he did not move his left foot, it was always guarding his leg stump."
The result? Just a lazy 774 runs.