Indian pacers may not trouble me like Neil Wagner did last time, says Steve Smith

Indian pacers may not trouble me like Neil Wagner did last time, says Steve Smith

Wagner picked up 17 wickets from three games in the Test series last summer in Australia.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Steve Smith, the ICC’s number-one ranked Test batsman, has heaped praise on New Zealand fast bowler Neil Wagner for the latter’s ability to bowl short-pitched deliveries, day in and day out. Last year, the Aussies played a three-match Test series against the Black Caps at home and Wagner was the second-highest wicket-taker with 17 scalps from three matches with best figures of five for 50.

Back then, Wagner bowled quite a bit of bumpers and got Steve Smith into trouble quite a few times. Smith, who managed 214 runs at an average of 42.80, feels that Wagner gets a chunk of his wickets from short-pitched bowling and sets the field as per that.

“Looking back at the last Test series, Neil Wagner got the better of me, he’s pretty good at what he does, he possesses a set of skills that not many people can do and he does it for a long period of time,” Smith was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.

He’s really patient and he’s able to do it all day, reckons Steve Smith

Moreover, Smith feels that the Indian pacers may not be able to spew the same venom in their upcoming series. The white-ball series starts on November 27 followed by the Test series, starting December 17 at the Adelaide Oval.

“You look at Neil Wagner’s career, the way he bowls, I think he’s the No. 2 Test bowler in the world or something like that [No. 3] and you see the majority of wickets he’s got are from short-pitched bowling and the way they set that field up,” he stated.

“He’s really patient and he’s able to do it all day. There are not too many quick bowlers who can run in and bowl bouncers all day, and I guess the way Neil does it is particularly special,” Smith added.

Last time around when India played Australia in a Test series, Smith couldn’t take part as he was serving a year-long ban after the ball-tampering scandal at the Newlands in Cape Town. After making his comeback, the 31-year-old got back his top spot during the 2019 Ashes where he also notched a double-ton.