Steve Smith working on his bowling skills with Shahid Afridi
Having started off his career as a leg-spinner, former Australia skipper Steve Smith turned into one of the best batsman in world cricket. But his ongoing ban due to the ‘Sandpaper Gate’ has seen Smith once again focus on his bowling. In fact, he has turned to Shahid Afridi to help him work on his bowling. The effect is there for all to see as he picked two wickets against Jamaica Tallawahs in the CPL game on Wednesday. Barbados Tridents won by two runs and Smith was handed the Man of the Match award.
Asked about his match-turning spell, Smith told host broadcasters: “I’ve changed a few things – I’m trying to base my action off Shahid Afridi actually, and try and bowl quite fast and into the wicket. There wasn’t a heap of bounce on this wicket so you could almost hit that back-of-a-length and make them go across the line. Fortunately, it worked tonight.”
Afridi finished with 541 international wickets and Smith feels that learning from the former Pakistan skipper will help. “The bloke’s played for a long time. He’s been a terrific leg-spinner. As I’m getting a bit older I can’t walk in anymore and bowl as fast as I need to, so I’ve got a bit more momentum through my run-up so I can get the ball down a bit quicker, otherwise it just goes miles. So yeah, change it up and it works,” he revealed.
Making his debut as a leg-spinner in 2010 against Pakistan at Lord’s, Smith has gone on to become a hardcore batsman with 6199 runs in 64 Tests with just 17 wickets. He has 23 centuries and 24 fifties. In ODIs, he has scored 3431 runs in 108 games with 27 wickets to his name.