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Column Rob Key: Throw the dice at the bowling alley at Steve Smith or he’ll take Ashes from England

teve Smith is a truly magnificent drummer who has caused England countless problems over the years.

And if we revisit his ridiculously dramatic sheets, it’s a sure sign that they’re making the same mistakes they made in the last two Ashes series, when in nine tests, Smith has 1,461 runs on 2,612 balls. , of which six centuries. , at an average of 121.75. In total against England, he has 11 cents.

The Ashes is the pinnacle for players from both of these nations, and it brought out the best in Smith.

Because Smith is extremely strong on his legs, England tried to push the ball miles from his stump. This allows him to leave the ball alone, which might prevent him from scoring – and puts those leaves on the line – but won’t bring him out. He’s disciplined on the outside, so that just removes the firing patterns.

I remember in South Africa in 2004 with England it was like we just couldn’t get Jacques Kallis out. You resign yourself to the fact that it will fit into it. For me that makes the relentless start against him absolutely critical. Smith is an accumulator rather than a destroyer, like Matt Hayden or Ricky Ponting. It’s not aesthetic because it’s clunky, but it’s not as unorthodox as it is sometimes claimed. When he makes contact, his head is in a good position and he sends the ball to regular areas.

I would like to see England roll the dice against Smith. Get on the right ground, with a man on the side of the legs and the right receivers in place, and throw straight. They must ask a question for each ball. To do this, they have to buy a ticket. Straight bowling is risky, but it can pay off. When all else fails, take the attack option.

The Australian stick is very dependent on Smith, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne. Under these conditions, they are all world class players.

I am a big fan of the Warner and Labuschagne approach. There’s a simplicity here that reminds me of the Australians who dominated county cricket in my day: Martin Love, Darren Lehmann, Andrew Symonds and more.

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I always think of Ashes 2002/03 when I think of Love, because he didn’t do the Test side, but was a nightmare for us. Before we could worry about bowling at Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden’s place, we just couldn’t get Love out. He made 250 for Queensland and 201 for Australia A in touring matches against us, showing how strong the Aussie strike has been these days.

Symonds was a teammate of mine in Kent. I remember one time we had a long batsman meeting, where the guys were talking in puzzles about bat time, triggers, patience, preparation. Someone asked Symo what he thought about it and he just said “if he’s here to hit, hit him.” If not, block it or leave it ”. I loved this straightforward attitude.

Warner reminds me of that, and his aggressive approach is perfect for Australia. I look at Labuschagne and remember the old school, the orthodox Australian bat. So often these days you see hitters looking robotic, very trained and standing, but Marnus looks so natural.

The rest of the Australian stick has not been proven successful. Alex Carey replaces Tim Paine, who I believe has been treated disgracefully by Cricket Australia. The only reason Paine should have been dropped is because Australia consider Carey a better player – which, based on his performance in ODI cricket, could be. I think they look on a better side with him.

While Australia are favorites, England absolutely stand a chance.

But I was worried when I heard they were leaving Jimmy Anderson on Brisbane green ground for battles further down the line. Hopefully they won’t be too cute with their squad and choose what they think is their best eleven for every game. We don’t even know where the fifth test is, let alone who will play it. Throw at the very beginning of the series, because saving for the end is like having two shots in the last three holes of golf. It could be helpful, but it could also be too late.

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