Star Australian batter Steve Smith has challenged England's 'Bazball' approach ahead of the 2023 Ashes series after a pristine 121 against India in the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) final. The 34-year-old doubts England's aggressive gameplay will work on pitches that has plenty of uneven bounce and seam movement like they have it at the Kennington Oval.
Australia edged ahead after day two of the WTC final as they reduced India to 151-5, leaving them more than 200 to avoid a follow-on. The Aussie pacers exploited the conditions to significant effect as all four seamers got a wicket each. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon also extracted one late in the day, dismissing Ravindra Jadeja.
Smith admitted that the Kennington Oval has been difficult to defend on and feels Australia's bowling attack is incisive enough to rattle England's batting unit.
"I've enjoyed watching how they've played. We'll wait and see how it comes off against us. I said when Bazball started that I'm intrigued to see how it goes against our bowlers, I've said that all along. It will be difficult on this kind of pitch, which is up and down and seaming around. It's not easy to defend, let alone come out and swing. They've done well against some other attacks, but they haven't come up against us yet. We'll wait and see how it comes off against us," the former Australian captain said during a press conference.
Steve Smith lavishes praises on Scott Boland:
Reflecting on Scott Boland's outstanding work on day two, Smith said it would be hard to leave him out of the eleven moving forward.
"I know from having faced Scotty in the nets recently he's bowling very nicely. The angles he provides, his ability to hit the stumps from a slightly shorter length than our other bowlers is a big plus. The skills he possesses are magnificent. Whether he is leaving any of the big three out, I don't know the answer to that, but he's certainly a quality prospect."
Pat Cummins and co. will further look to strengthen their hold on day three.