CricketSouth Africa has the remedy to stop Steve Smith from scoring big, claims Proteas bowling coach Charles Langeveldt
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Steve Smith needs no introduction when it comes to batting long innings in test cricket. When South Africa tours Australia, they will surely face the trouble of removing Smith early in the innings.

Making Steven Smith play at the ball early has been defined as strategic plan by South African bowlers as the key to quieting Australia’s most productive batsman during their three-Test series this summer.

Ahead of Saturday’s opening Test at the Gabba, they are one of the few nations in the world who can say they have discovered a solution for Smith throughout his career.

Smith scored a century in the first Test he played against them in 2014, but he has subsequently struggled. Smith’s average of 41.53 in nine games against South Africa is the lowest of any country he has faced, with the exception of Bangladesh, who he has played two Tests against. So, pretty much challenge for both sides as they look forward to tackle the most formidable sides in test cricket this year.

Steve Smith has made significant changes in his stance in last series which has been productive for him so far. But South Africa’s bowling coach Charles Langeveldt has said that his team has clear plans to quit the flow of Smith’s bat.


The key to most of the top six is the first 20 balls and to make them play,” he said. “Steve has changed. He is not on the move anymore and he has got a good base now where he is not moving around the crease as much.

“I think it is going to be a good challenge for our boys. The boys are up for the challenge but the key is going to be that first 20 balls where we need to really make him play more.”

With shorter-pitched bowling aiming at his body in prior years, teams have attacked Smith differently this time around. Smith had changed his technique as a result to make it simpler for him to duck the ball and extend the range of his pull shot on the leg side.

In a recent tour match against a Cricket Australia XI, South Africa made a point to bowl fully, with opening bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi both taking seven wickets.

Similar to the strategy they wish to use against Smith, the majority of their wickets were taken upon fuller deliveries that were caught behind or in the slips.

The guys got the fuller lengths that we want. Conditions are different in Brisbane to anywhere else in the world really,” Charles Langeveldt said.

“I feel in a good place, I feel like I am batting nicely,” Smith said. “I feel in good rhythm and I am looking forward to it.”

Steve Smith is well aware of his record against Proteas. So, he will be prepared for the big pace trio of South Africa. With few adjustments, he is ready for another challenge. In the first test of summer, he scored unbeaten 200 and 20, which is something that will put his confidence high on.