I just think modern-day batters lack patience, says Graeme Smith

Smith is critical of batsmen's inability to counter tough conditions away from home.

Graeme Smith | Getty

Former South African Captain Graeme Smith has come out and stated that he feels, it is the patience and concentration that modern-day batsmen lack when they come across tough conditions in Test matches.

Smith has reasoned regular failure of batsmen when against stern challenge away from home down to impatience and willingness to dig it out. Smith even went on to suggest that batsmen these days lack the "brains" to flourish on foreign soil.

Smith was quoted telling Cricbuzz as, "I just think modern-day batters don't have the patience anymore. They're not prepared to work through periods, Look at Virat Kohli's hundred in the Edgbaston game. How long was he under the pump for? He fought and he fought and he fought, and then suddenly it breaks; you get the opportunity to play and the game opens up."

"I just think that little bit has gone out of the modern-day game, certainly in the Test match format. That's why captains drop the field back so quickly – because they know that the modern-day batters want to see boundaries. If they can cut out the boundaries then people get frustrated and play loose shots." Smith further added. 

Smith also feels that batsmen can fall for the ego a lot more these days than before. 

"I think you can play on egos a lot more nowadays than you probably could a few years back." he said and added, "You have to have a brain. Sometimes you realise that, 'OK, the wicket is doing a lot, the ball is swinging, I've got to fight and fight hard to get through it'."

"So it's about figuring out and understanding what you're up against and putting your technique and mindset into the situation."

Smith made 5,253 of his 9,265 Test runs opening the batting on away soil at an average of 55.88 and is only the second highest behind Alastair Cook in this regard. 

He was absolutely magnificent in England, where he scored five brilliant hundreds against an attack that had James Anderson and Stuart Broad. 

"I sort of in my mind knew how James Anderson was going to bowl, how Stuart Broad would bowl, and prepared in that way, I always thought about how they'll try and get me out so prepared that way in the nets," Smith said. 

"The other thing is, batting in England you need to be really aware of the conditions. There's a big difference batting in England when it's overcast and cloudy to when it's sunny." he further added, "So just being aware of those situations – when you need to tighten up and when you can afford to attack a bit more and stuff like that. Mentally being a lot more aware, because the wicket may seem to be flat but all of a sudden it clouds over and it starts swinging."

(Inputs from Cricket.com.au)


By Kashish Chadha - 27 Aug, 2018

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