Australian batsman Steven Smith downplayed the threat posed by England fast bowler Jofra Archer, ahead of next week’s fourth Ashes series Test at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Smith was felled by a fierce short delivery from Archer during the second Test at Lord’s in London. A consequent concussion ruled him out of the third Test at Headingley in Leeds.
‘There’s been a bit of talk that he’s got the wood over me, but he hasn’t actually got me out. He hit me on the head on a wicket that was a bit up and down at Lords,’ said Smith.
‘All the other bowlers have had more success against me, I daresay. I’ve faced them a bit more, but they’ve all got me out a lot more.
‘If they’re bowling up there it means they can’t nick me off, or hit me on the pad or hit the stumps. With the Dukes ball – I don’t know, that’s an interesting ploy.’
Smith, who struck successive centuries in the series opener at Edgbaston in Birmingham, will likely return to the XI in Manchester. This is his first Test series since early last year, when involvement in ball-tampering yielded a 12-month suspension.
‘Edgbaston was just, for me, first game back, fresh, and I just wanted to bat. I didn’t want to stop batting. All my movement patterns and the way I feel was really good, so I’m comfortable with that, and hopefully I can ramp up my training over the next few days,’ he added.
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