Cricket: Michael Atherton wants to know India’s Strategic plan for Smith

Michael Atherton, former England captain would like to see the game plan employed by Indian pace attack against a batsman like Australia’s Steve Smith for the end of the year match.

In 2018-19 India won the maiden Test series 2-1 while Smith was serving one year ball tampering suspension along with David Warner who was also among list of banned players.

“I’ll be very interested to see what India come up with (against Smith). He (Smith) is a highly unorthodox player, but I enjoy watching and for that reason,” Atherton said in a chat show on Sony Ten’s ‘Pit Stop’.

He also added, “I think the game is a better game when you’ve got people who are very unusual in the way that they play,”

But Atherton, one of the most respected voices of world cricket considers it an even battle with India’s world class pace attack comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma.

“What really should give India fans hope I think Down Under is the strength of the bowling attack. It’s very, very difficult to win in Australia without a strong seam bowling attack,” Atherton said.

He is impressed with India’s fast-bowling pool.

“One of the great things in the last few years from my perspective, I’ve seen this sea change really, in terms of the quality of the fast bowlers that you’ve produced.

“If I go back and think to when I played in India in 93, it was completely spin-based, you obviously had good fast bowlers as well but I don’t think that number in depth that you have now.”

Moreover he feels that Smith’s batting technique is unique in its own way which makes the game exceptionallywatchable.

“If everybody played the same way, it’s a boring game. I love the fact that Steve Smith is quite unorthodox and he has success because of that. It makes it a more interesting game for me, but I don’t have any easy answers how to get Smith out.”

“The one thing I do enjoy watching about Indian batsmen is that they look very natural to me, and not over-coached and not forced, fluid and fluent and of course, no better example than that of Rohit Sharma.

“That top of the order is so important in Australia. Because if you can have a solid successful start there, as soon as that Kookaburra ball loses its shine, you can have some lovely batting conditions there,” he added.

Regarding the upcoming England’s series against West Indies Atherton thinks that West Indies’ batsmen need to score runs to give their bowlers a chance to stay in the game.

“They have got a decent bowling line up. And the question really is whether West Indies will get the runs to give those bowlers the ammunition to have a go at England. If they do get runs, they’ll be a threat to England and they’ll be competitive.”

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