Ravichandran Ashwin plotting Steve Smith’s dismissal was the highlight of the first day’s play in the ongoing second Test between Australia and India at MCG.
Having dismissed Smith with a slider in the first innings of Adelaide Test for 1, Ashwin came up with another shrewd plan to get rid of the No. 1 Test batter for a duck.
The off-spinner set a leg-side trap at in Melbourne, with a backward and forward short-leg and Smith fell right into it.
The star Australian batsman got an inside edge and Cheteshwar Pujara at leg slip dived towards his left to take a sharp catch.
Commenting on this duel, former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta on Saturday (December 26) said that the Ashwin versus Smith contest is turning out to be the subplot of this series.
“This whole Ashwin versus Steve Smith is getting really interesting. Ashwin has got him out twice. Once the outside edge and once the inside edge. Once against the ball which went straight with the arm and the other turned and got the inside edge. Now, this is getting interesting and now the mindgames start.
“Now Ashwin knows that as far as Steve Smith is concerned, he is thinking both about the inside and the outside edge when he is batting against Ashwin. This is going to be a very very interesting subplot in this whole series, Ashwin vs Steve Smith,” Deep Dasgupta said on Sports Today Youtube.
According to Dasgupta, Smith is a very mental player and Ashwin seems to have gotten into the mental battle with him.
“As far as Smith is concerned, he is a class act but his game is very mental. Extremely mental. Now, if you can break through that software of his in his head, because he is moving around and you see him change his technique on the go, depending on the bowler and the bowler’s plans.
“Now if you can hack into that software of his, then a lot of that is sorted for you. And I think this is where the game is played, Ashwin’s mind vs Steve Smith’s mind,” he remarked.