Mehidy Hasan Follows R Ashwin to Bamboozle Steve Smith
The hosts might not have completely dominated Australia’s tour of India earlier in the year, but it has surely given the Bangladesh side to take a trick or two from the Indian bowlers on how to handle Aussie captain Steve Smith. In the final Test at Dharamsala during the Border Gavaskar Trophy bowled to Smith from around the wicket and induced an edge from his bat which went straight to the slip fielder. Before the final Test, Ashwin had only bowled from that angle thrice.
In the opening Test between Bangladesh and Australia, it was Mehidy Hasan Miraj who carried on from Ashwin left in the Dharmasala Test and bowled from around the wickets which curbed the free flowing instincts of Smith. The angle has troubled Smith in the past as Sri Lankan spinner Dilruwan Perera had employed a similar strategy against him during Australia’s 3-0 whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka last year.
In the 1st innings, Mehidy bowled the first delivery from over the wicket but later changed his angle immediately after the delivery. After three balls he had Smith bowled. Even in the 2nd essay Mehidy started of bowling from around the stumps and almost had him stumped without bothering the scorers. He kept bowling from that angle for more 30 deliveries as the visiting Australian side failed to chase the total of 265 and eventually surrendered the match by 20 runs to Bangladesh.
In the 1st innings, Smith began by charging Mehidy down the track and was bowled as he yorked himself by turning the delivery into a Yorker length one. It dipped on him late and was left with no room what so ever to drive which was Smith’s earlier intention. Following Smith’s dismissal in the 1st innings, offie Mehidy Hasan said that the Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim had discussed with him on the new line of attack ahead of the opening Test.
“We had a specific plan for Smith,” he said after the second day’s play. “Mushfiq Bhai told me that if you can bowl around the wicket, he can be in trouble. He doesn’t use his feet too well. He is someone who likes to come down the wicket and, if the ball turns, there is a possibility of a stumping or a catch. I just tried to follow his instruction and bowled around the wicket. It worked.”
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