Cricket

Ricky Ponting strongly urges Steve Smith to bat at No. 3

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting urged Steve Smith, the current no. 3 batsman, to continue to hold his position in the batting order, despite struggling with his technique since scoring a double century and a fifty in the second Ashes 2015 Test at Lord’s.

Ponting’s advice came at a time when Smith is thinking to bat as a lower order batsman.

England bowlers have found out a way to exploit his constant movement across the stumps. Smith did not score any double figure at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge in the following Tests. The Alastair Cook lead side have regained the series 3-1 with the fifth and final Test yet to play at Oval, starting on Thursday.

“I firmly believe that as Australia’s new captain Steven Smith should continue batting at No. 3 once he takes on the role. I know there have been a few people saying that he’s not a long-term option in that position based on what they have seen in this Ashes series, but I definitely think it is where he should bat from here on,” Ponting wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.

Smith’s captaincy stint will start in Australia’s tour of Bangladesh in October. Ricky Ponting thinks the 26-year-old have fifth Test and Bangladesh tour to think about his foot movement. Smith’s batting technique on seaming conditions in England looks weird. Smith was a run machine in 2014 when he amassed 1146 runs that included five hundred and two 50s in nine Test at a phenomenal average of 81.85.

“Between now and the Test tour of Bangladesh, Steve will have a little bit of time to think about what he wants to do with his foot movement. I wondered at times during the first four Tests whether he was completely sure how far across he was getting from one ball to the next. That being said, Steve doesn’t give me the impression he is too worried about where his stumps are, as long as he’s got his body in line with the ball.

Ponting observed that  Smith has tried a different technique to every ball, particularly to left arm bowlers.

“ He has not made the same movement for every bowler either, doing things slightly differently for left-arm bowlers, spinners and others. I am sure he will be good enough to make whatever adjustments he sees fit to be the best batsman he can be – he already has got this far,” Ponting felt.

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