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Ashes 2019: UAE player Ahmed Raza bowling at Steve Smith to iron out his flaws against left-arm spinners

Smith averages 34 against the left-arm spinners in Tests.

Ahmed Raza
Ahmed Raza. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The second Ashes Test between England and Australia at Lord’s is all set to get underway on Wednesday. The visitors are leading the five-match series by 1-0 and the victory in the first game came on the back of Steve Smith’s twin tons. It was his comeback match in the format and the former Aussie skipper made it memorable for him. All the eyes are on him ahead of this game as well and the World number three Test batsman is sweating it out in the nets.

England threw everything possible at him at Edgbaston but couldn’t get Smith out early which led to them botching a good position in the match twice. So how do they get him out? Experts feel Jofra Archer‘s pace will trouble Smith and the Caribbean born pacer is set to make his Test debut at the home of cricket. There is one more aspect in which the Aussie batsman lacks a bit.

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Steve Smith’s Test average against the left-arm spinners is 34 and England have decided to play Jack Leach at the Lord’s to tackle his threat. While the average doesn’t seem to be too less for a normal player, it is certainly a chink in Smith’s armoury for the standards he’s set over the years.

Smith facing Ahmed Raza in the nets

However, Steve Smith is making sure in the nets that he doesn’t get bogged down against Leach in the game. Australia have roped in the UAE left-arm spinner Ahmed Raza to bowl at their batsmen ahead of the marquee clash. He was with the team during Australia’s UAE tour for the Test series against Pakistan last year. However, Raza has cautioned England stating that it is very tough to go past Smith’s bat regularly.

“Steve Smith is such a great player, I’ve hardly seen a ball go past him when he’s been batting in the nets. The pitches that are prepared here are slow and do turn, so maybe once in the whole day, you might get the better of him. He is the toughest bloke to bowl at because he has such quick hands and he picks the length very early,” he was quoted as saying by The National.

It will be interesting to see how Smith fares against Leach and who wins the battle at the Lord’s when the second Test gets underway.

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