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Ashes 2017-18: Shane Warne Suggests Steven Smith to Opt for Bodyline Bowling 

Ashes 2017-18: Shane Warne Suggests Steven Smith to Opt for Bodyline Bowling
Warne in 145 Tests claimed 708 wickets an an average of 25.41. He claimed 37 five-wicket haul in 199 Test innings. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

With no mood of mercy whatsoever Australian star, Shane Warne on the eve of 70th Ashes edition suggested national skipper Steven Smith to make use of the Bodyline tactics, in a bid to demoralize the visitors.

“There is a question mark over Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes with the short ball and there should be no mercy shown to the tail,” Warne wrote in his column for Herald Sun.

Shane Warne, Bodyline Bowling, Steven Smith, Australia Vs England, Brisbane, 1st Test
Mitchell Johnson was the nightmare for England batters in 2013-14 Ashes season. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

(Read Also: England name Playing XI for Opening Ashes Test)

In what could be termed as a shocking statement, Warne, who made life difficult for the batsmen during his illustrious career with his leg-spin particularly in the Test format, has further observed England struggled against the short-ball ploy which according to him could be major booster for the hosts’ quality bowling line-up led by speedster Mitchell Starc.

“If Australia can remove Alastair Cook and Joe Root with quality pressure bowling early that’s when skipper Smith can pull the trigger and direct the Australian pacemen to go for the jugular,” Warne added.

Shane Warne, Bodyline Bowling, Steven Smith, Australia Vs England, Brisbane, 1st Test
Warne relished his time with the veterans like Ricky Ponting and Glenn McGrath. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Believing in a thought process to employ the bodyline strategy, Warne urged hosts to make things difficult for the England batters while relying on the sheer pace and pure aggression.

“England is vulnerable in the middle and lower order and this is where the Bodyline theory can work,” Warne wrote on in his piece.

The 48-year-old Victoria-born veteran Warne remarked the weakness would allow the fast bowling trio including Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins to play the chin music.

“Intimidation is the key and the man to make this happen is Pat Cummins, just as Mitchell Johnson did four years ago,” Warne further added.

In a bid to imitate the furious paceman Johnson completed the incredible 37-wicket series haul when England played under the predecessor of Joe Root, Warned urged Australian fast bowlers to unleash against England on bouncy surfaces back home.

Shane Warne, Bodyline Bowling, Steven Smith, Australia Vs England, Brisbane, 1st Test
Bill Woodfull reacts to the England’s Bodyline tactics. Photo Credit: Web.

(Read Further: Ashes 2017-18: Ian Bell Urges Chris Woakes to Deliver in Ben Stokes’ Absence)

However, the bodyline attack was formulated by England in 1932-33 when they toured Australia while searching to tackle the indomitable and impeccable Don Bradman back then.

Shane Warne, Bodyline Bowling, Steven Smith, Australia Vs England, Brisbane, 1st Test
The Bodyline bowling further strained Australia-England relation. Photo Credit: Web.

Interestingly, the then England skipper Douglas Jardine banked on the short bowling while stationing the players with the leg-field ploy.

“It’s been 85 years since the very clever English captain Douglas Jardine unleashed quickie Harold Larwood at Bill Woodfull’s unsuspecting Australians and I reckon this Aussie team can similarly catch Joe Root’s Englishmen off-guard,” Warne further wrote.

By using the inequitable means which further could have wrecked havoc, when batsmen’s body was the target which further saw close-in fielders were waiting for the catch.

The short-bowling tactics in the past had already witnessed batsmen struggling on the Australian soil.

“The Australians must go after the Poms with aggression — plenty of short stuff — and really set the tone for the rest of the Ashes matches,” Warne mentioned the point.

Moreover, the series witnessed the change in laws which further remarked the game should be played in the spirit of gentleman’s game.

Shane Warne, Bodyline Bowling, Steven Smith, Australia Vs England, Brisbane, 1st Test
Cummins bowls with a lot of energy. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The bodyline bowling strategy was further hampered by the restrictions in the field which further saw bowlers were restricted for the limited bouncers.

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As of now, comparing it was that controversial Bodyline would not be similar but it could likely push England batters on the back foot.

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