English seamer Stuart Broad has described bowling to former Proteas skipper Graeme Smith as ‘an absolute nightmare.’
Speaking in a live Instagram video with bowling partner James Anderson on Thursday, Broad said his efforts towards the opening batsman mostly resulted in an easy boundaries, especially if he was bowling over the wicket to the left-hander.
‘I wish I could have bowled at him having worked on my around-the-wicket stuff and try and draw him to drive through extra cover. But for me just over the wicket, trying to swing it into the stumps, hopeless,’ said Broad.
Anderson conceded to the same frustration having first bowled to Smith during South Africa’s tour of England back in 2003.
Smith, who had just become the youngest Test captain ever, smashed consecutive double-tons in the five match series and finished as the highest-run scorer.
‘I had exactly the same problem,’ said Anderson.
‘When I first started, my first series against him was 2003 and all I could do then was swing the ball back in. I didn’t have an out-swinger to a left-hander and I couldn’t wobble the ball across him.
‘And when you thought ‘alright, I’ll start the ball a bit wider outside off stump’, and he still got it through the leg side. He got two double hundreds in that series in 2003. He was just impossible to bowl to. I hated it.’
Both Broad and Anderson have since developed exceptional skill to swing the ball both ways with Broad in particular extremely dangerous towards left-handers around the wicket, just ask David Warner.