Over the past few days, before the start of the third Test between India and Australia, a lot has been speculated over the nature of the pitch in Ranchi. A seemingly circumspect Australia captain, Steve Smith, has followed suit and gone on to say that if the pitch in Ranchi demands then he won’t be afraid to go ahead and opt for a ‘French Cricket approach’ to survive and bat.
Smith, who wasn’t successful in the second Test held in the garden city, said, “It was just so difficult to score (in Bangalore), against the quicks in particular. I was always afraid of the one shooting low like in the second innings (when Smith was trapped lbw by an unplayable delivery that hardly bounced. It was about trying to almost play French cricket. If the ball was on my stumps, try and cover that as well as I could.”
“It (not scoring) was a credit to the Indian quicks, I thought they bowled very well. Their line and lengths were spectacular really throughout the whole match.”, he added.
Speaking about his expectations from Ranchi, Smith said, “The surface in Ranchi is expected to be consistently slow and low, without the variable bounce on offer in the second Test. “It will shoot quite low … I’ve never seen a wicket that’s looked quite as dark as that one is. It looks like there’s mud sort of rolled together.” “Guys just have to adapt and play according to what the wicket entails. It’s about summing up the best way to play and try and get as many runs as we can to build the first innings.”, Smith stated.
Meanwhile, Steve Smith also backed paceman Pat Cummins (who is making a comeback) and expected him to trouble India’s batsmen with his quick pace. “He’s got some good variations. Watching him bowl yesterday, he bowled these cutters on the wicket and they were actually ragging,” Smith said. “He’s got some good skills … the extra pace is always nice.”