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Length at off stump is vital on this wicket: Steve Smith

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Australian batter Steve Smith on Thursday mentioned his bowlers reaped the advantages of relentlessly concentrating on the off stump on a pitch with variable bounce within the World Test Championship last in opposition to India.

India discovered themselves in huge bother at 151 for 5 on day two, trailing Australia by one other 318 runs on the Oval.

Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara supplied no shot to balls that crashed into the stumps whereas Virat Kohli received an unplayable supply from Mitchell Starc.

Australian pacers bowled higher lengths and received extra buy out of the wicket than their Indian counterparts.

“The size at off stump I feel is vital. We’ve clearly seen a little bit of variable bounce and a few seam motion. So if we’re difficult the highest of the stumps as a lot as potential, I feel that’s the quickest approach house.

“You can certainly get the outside edge from there if it seams away and bounces or takes off, which a couple have. And then pads and stumps are in play with the ones that shoot low or seam back. So it’s about as simple as we need to keep it, I think,” Smith mentioned.

Australia’s batting mainstay received to his thirty first hundred with a few fours off half volleys from Mohammed Siraj within the first over of the day. It was his third hundred at The Oval the place he averages near 100.

“Yeah, I feel once I first began this morning I couldn’t ask for something greater than two half volleys on my pad to get me going. That was good to recover from that milestone.

“But, no, I was proud of the way I played. I thought I applied myself nicely. Left well yesterday morning. Hit the balls in my area and yeah it was pretty solid in defense. So yeah, felt good out there,” he mentioned.

“Obviously a really good partnership with Trav who batted beautifully in that middle session yesterday. I thought the way he took the game on, put the pressure back on their bowlers, got them off their lengths, which I think helped me at the other end as well. Yeah, set us up for a nice innings.” Talking about his love for the bottom, he added: “I feel when it comes to English wickets it’s most likely as near Australia as you get I suppose.

“The pace and bounce that you can get in the surface and if you get yourself in the outfield is obviously the square goes the whole way across so you get good value for your shots. So, yeah, I’ve enjoyed playing here and it was nice to score a few out here again.”