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Home News I don't coach Steve Smith, he coaches himself: Justin Langer

I don’t coach Steve Smith, he coaches himself: Justin Langer

It has been a major surprise to the cricket fans across the globe that Steve Smith, one of the best cricketers at present in the purest format of the game, hasn’t had a great run with the bat in the ongoing four-match Test series against India. Smith, who recently won the award of the best ‘Test Cricketer of the Decade’ and a member of the ‘ICC Test Team of the Decade’ has amassed just 10 runs in 4 innings at an average of 3.33.

The Sydney-born’s drought of runs has been a major concern for the hosts, who suffered an eight-wicket defeat in the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne. Smith has recorded scores of 1, 1*, 0 and 8, and so far, has been dismissed twice in the series by Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

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The third Test at SCG could prove to be an opportunity for the No 3 batter to gain back his lost rhythm, as it’s one of his favorite scoring grounds in the Aussie nation. Averaging 67.89 with 2 hundreds and 5 fifties, Smith has scored 611 runs at the venue, which includes a knock of 117 against India in the 4-match home-series in 2014-15 that the hosts won by 2-0.

It goes without a saying that Smith is the most important batter in the Australian batting line-up and in case he has a dry run at SCG and the tourists, led by stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane, capitalize on the same and manage to seal a triumph, then the hosts would be left only to draw the series in the final Test in Brisbane.

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Thus, it is of paramount importance for the Sydney-born cricketer to get together his acts and contribute to the total in the forthcoming feud.

Speaking on Smith’s performance with the willow, Australian head coach Justin Langer feels that it won’t take the former much time in coming back to his original self. Langer added that he doesn’t ‘coach’ Steve Smith, instead, Smith coaches himself.

“Imagine how good we will be when he (Steve Smith) does start batting – that is how I look at it. He hasn’t had the best series so far. He will be the first to admit that. My gosh, what I know about great players, the longer they miss out, the sooner they are coming good again. That puts a big smile on my face.

How do you coach Steve? I don’t coach Steve smith. Steve Smith coaches himself and I am sure he is going to work it out,” Langer said in a virtual media conference.

We know what a great player Steve Smith is: Justin Langer

Langer mentioned how Smith has been preparing in the nets for the upcoming encounter and being a great problem solver, the latter will find his nick in the middle.

“Steve is always hitting a lot of balls. He did a lot leading up to it (MCG Test) but, again, there is nothing, even for the greatest of players, there is nothing that replaces time in the middle. And we know what a great problem solver he is, we know what a great player he is,” added the former cricketer turned coach.

With the ongoing Test series leveled at 1-1, Australia, heading into the SCG Test, will aim to go all guns blazing, avoid the mistakes committed in the Melbourne Test, and seal an unassailable lead of 2-1 against Ajinkya Rahane & Company.

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V Shashank
A cricket aficionado who has been following the game since the historic Ashes 2013-14. "People throw stones at you, you turn them into milestones." - Sachin Tendulkar


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