BRISBANE: Pakistan cricket team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said that pitching the ball consistently on the blind spot or near the top of the off stump would be key to dismissing Australian stalwart Steve Smith.
Smith returned to Test cricket by taking the Ashes by storm earlier in the year. In the five-match series that was held across August and September in England, Smith scored a whopping 774 runs at an average of 110.57. He carried the good form into the recently concluded T20I series against Pakistan at home. “As far as Steve Smith goes, there’s a blind spot for every top batsman in the world; as a bowler you’re always interested in pitching the ball there,” Misbah is quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“It’s important that we bowl with consistency there. Our bowlers are executing the plans very well right now, and hopefully we’ll be able to build that kind of a pressure, and stay disciplined especially early in the innings. No matter how good a batsman is batting, it’s about consistency and bowling the maximum balls in those areas that build pressure and the batsman respects you, and you force him to make a mistake,” the head coach added.
Pakistan are going into the series with a pace attack that consists of Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Muhammad Musa and the 16-year-old Naseem Shah. “All the batsmen you talk to, any batsman in the world, that’s the area where you have to defend a ball, and that is a six to eight metre spot where you have to play the top of off stump,” he said. “That’s the area from where if it’s happening then that creates a great chance. Even if it’s not happening, you have less chances to do anything with the ball.
“So it’s about consistency, and top players in the world, if you miss those areas, that special length and line, then they are good enough to just cash in on that. So you have to be very, very disciplined, just keep the ball there, and if it’s happening you are already in the game.” The first Test of the series will be played in Brisbane from November 21 to 25 and the second will be played in Adelaide from November 29 to December 3.