Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell feels the Indian bowlers might have ‘run out of ideas’ to dismiss Australia skipper Steven Smith in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series.
Smith is currently leading the scoring chart in the four-match series, amassing 378 runs with the help of two centuries. He was also the only batsman in the series to have crossed the 3-digit mark before Cheteshwar Pujara joined the list after scoring a double ton in Ranchi.
During the Pune Test, where the Indian team could score only 105 and 107 in the two innings, the Aussie skipper led from the front and scored a brilliant century on a tough pitch to help his team take a 1-0 lead in the series. Smith experienced a rare failure in the Bengaluru Test but bounced back in style in the recently concluded Ranchi Test by scoring an unbeaten 178 in the first innings.
“Smith was already a successful batting captain, but on this tour of India he has taken his play to another level,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
“He’s made two centuries in three Tests, and following his undefeated vigil in Ranchi, it’s apparent India’s bowlers are no closer to unlocking the secret to upending him. They may have run out of ideas. Smith’s patience and thirst for runs is never-ending.
“Smith has reduced his mental errors to a minimum. He has eradicated much of the risk from his play but he still puts away the bad or even slightly wayward delivery,” the former player added.
This is not the first time Steven Smith has done remarkably well against the world number one team in a Test series. During the 2014/15 series, he smashed an incredible 726 runs, including four consecutive centuries at an average of over 100 as Australia won the four-match series 2-0.
Referring to the incident that took place between Wriddhiman Saha and Smith in Ranchi when the Indian wicketkeeper tried his best to send back the Aussie skipper by catching a ball that got lodged between his pads, Chappell further wrote:
“Such was India’s desperation in Ranchi that it looked less like a Test and more like a schoolyard romp between two 11-year-olds when Wriddhiman Saha piled on top of the Australian captain in an effort to extract the ball from between Smith’s legs.”
Meanwhile, the series is currently locked at 1-1 and the last match of the series will begin on March 25 in Dharamsala.