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Tim Paine backs Steve Smith to come back stronger against India in Sydney

January 1, 2021

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Australia Test captain Tim Paine is certain that Steve Smith will regain his form in the remaining two tests. The Australian batsman has only managed to score ten runs in the two Tests, and the Indian side seems to have done their homework with regards to the star batsman. Team India squared the series in Melbourne after securing a comfortable eight-wicket win on Day 4.

India's bowling unit has targeted Steve Smith's pads by bowling straight and keeping a leg-side field. This canny strategy has helped the Indian bowlers as they have strongly removed Smith with low scores so far.

The world's top-ranked Test batsman was dismissed for his first duck in four years in the first innings. In the second innings, he was bowled around his legs by Jasprit Bumrah, and the latter had to go back scoring eight runs.

However, Tim Paine believes that the 31-year-old has faced several such challenges in the past. The wicket-keeper batsman is confident that Smith will return to his form. Talking about the potential changes in the playing XI for the third Test, Tim Paine was modest and didn't speak much about the team's possible changes.

Steve Smith's batting setback in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Series

The number three batsman has so far scored 1,1*,0, and 8 in his four Test innings. He has probably never seen such a woeful run of form in his Test career. Considering how he smashed 62-balls hundred in the ODIs against India, it seemed that he could create trouble for the Indian bowlers in the Test series. However, India's bowling attack, particularly Ravichandran Ashwin, has had his number.

Steve Smith, recently in an interview, stated that he has allowed Ashwin to dictate terms. He further mentioned that he would have to put more pressure on the off-spinner in the upcoming matches. 

This was also the first occurrence since 1988-89 when none of the Australian batsmen was able to score a half-century in a Test match at home. Besides their batting struggles, the baggy green side was relatively low on the field as well. They dropped quite a few crucial catches.

After India's stunning win in the Boxing Day Test, the four-match series is now equal at 1-1. The Sydney Cricket Ground is going to host the 3rd Test clash, starting on January 7, 2021.

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