‘Hit him over his head to put pressure on him, to make him bowl where I wanted to’

Steve Smith credited a more positive and aggressive approach in Sydney as the key to getting his form back after he notched up his 27th Test hundred on day two of the third Test on Friday.

No technical changes

When asked if he had to make any technical changes, Smith said, “Not really. I just tried to be a bit faster on my feet, especially against the spinners. I tried to come down the wicket and play off the back foot a bit better, but nothing different against the quicks.”

The former Australia captain said he made a concerted effort to be more aggressive against R. Ashwin, particularly after being dismissed by the off-spinner twice in the last three innings.

“I decided to be a bit more positive. Early on, I hit him over his head to put pressure on him, to make him bowl where I wanted to. It was a concerted effort to do that, so happy with the way I played him,” Smith added.

Over the last few years, teams have come up with specific plans to keep Smith quiet, with India using a heavy leg-side field in the first two matches. When asked about it, the 31-year-old conceded that he has had to work hard to score runs in recent years.

“I think the plans have been different. I feel in a way less likely to get out but harder to score. That’s probably shown in a few games over the last few years. With the fields they are setting and the way they are bowling, I have had to work hard for my runs. But this game I was aggressive early and tried to put it back on the bowlers a bit more. I got close to a run a ball for my first 20 runs and got myself going. After that, it was just about absorbing the pressure and putting the pressure when you need to,” Smith added.

“I think it is a decent total. The wicket is a bit up and down as we have seen. Hopefully, we can start well in the morning and build some pressure.”

India vs Australia third Test live (5 a.m. onwards) on Sony Ten 1, 3 and Sony Six.

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