Steve Smith’s transformation from a leg-spinner to batting colossal has been one of the greatest stories in modern-day cricket.
On Thursday in the Caribbean Premier League, the banned Australia star showed that he can still put his bowling to good effect by picking up two wickets in Barbados Tridents’ two-run win over Jamaica Tallawahs.
The 29-year-old starred with an all-round display, scoring a 44-ball 63 before returning with figures of 2-19 from three overs.
The Aussie removed both Jamaica openers Johnson Charles and Glenn Phillips in the space of five deliveries with his leg spin in a man-of-the-match performance at Florida.
Following his side’s thrilling win, Smith attributed his bowling display to remodeling his action on former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi.
“I’ve changed a few things – I’m trying to base my action off Shahid Afridi actually, and try and bowl quite fast and into the wicket,” Smith said.
“There wasn’t a heap of bounce on this wicket so you could almost hit that back-of-a-length and make them go across the line.
“Fortunately, it worked tonight.”
Afridi picked up 541 wickets across all formats in an international career spanning more than two decades. When asked why he has chosen the Peshawar man’s action out of all people, Smith spoke about his longevity.
“Why not? The bloke’s (Afridi) played for a long time. He’s been a terrific leg-spinner,” he replied.
“As I’m getting a bit older I can’t walk in anymore and bowl as fast as I need to, so I’ve got a bit more momentum through my run-up so I can get the ball down a bit quicker, otherwise it just goes miles.
“So yeah, change it up and it works.”
So far in his career, Smith has picked up 61 international wickets in all three formats in 202 appearances. The former Australia skipper is currently serving a one-year ban from international cricket handed to him by Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering saga.
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10:00 pm – Shaw selected
Teenage batting prodigy Prithvi Shaw has been added to India‘s squad for the final two Tests against England.
The 18-year-old opener has registered seven centuries in his 14 first-class matches to date and captained India Under-19s to World Cup glory earlier this year
Read the full story here.
9:30 pm – Shastri hails India’s best ever pace attack
India coach Ravi Shastri said his team now possesses its most fierce pace attack of all time after the world No1 Test team registered a 203-run victory over England in the third Test at Trent Bridge.
“No other India team comes even close,” Shastri said.
For more, click here.
8:30 pm – Not time to waste, says Root
Joe Root has warned England they must learn quickly from their Trent Bridge trouncing if they are to stay on top against India.
England’s captain said the hosts effectively lost the third Test in one session on day two when their “very poor” first-innings batting saw all 10 wickets fall between lunch and tea.
Read more quotes here.
6:00pm – Virat Kohli now fourth in list of most successful Test captains
India‘s emphatic 203-run win in the Trent Bridge Test against England was the culmination of some incredible individual and collective efforts. The result not only brought India back into the series, making the scoreline 2-1, it also took captain Kohli past Sourav Ganguly on the all-time most successful Indian captains’ list.
Among the all-time list for Test skippers to have led in at least 20 matches, Kohli has now reached the fourth spot. Read more on Kohli’s incredible statistics here.
3:00pm – Virat Kohli shines in player ratings from third Test
India came roaring back into the five-match series as they completed a crushing 203-run win over England in the third Test at Trent Bridge.
The visitors now trail 2-1 as the series moves on to the fourth Test at Southampton.
Here, we look at how the 22 players across the two teams fared at Trent Bridge. We have also done an in-depth look at Virat Kohli’s heroic display in the Test here. To take a closer look at Jasprit Bumrah’s maiden Test on English soil, click here.
2:10pm – India complete crushing 203-run win over England
Well that didn’t last long! Ravi Ashwin struck in just the third over of the final day at Trent Bridge to hand India a 203-run win in the third Test against England.
The India off-spinner dismissed James Anderson as England’s final innings folded at 317. The visitors now trail 1-2 in the five-match series with two games remaining.
1:45pm – India push for win at Trent Bridge
Just one England wicket stands in the way of an India victory when the two teams take to the field on the final day of the Trent Bridge Test.
Chasing a mammoth 521 for victory in their final innings in the third Test, England will resume from their overnight score of 311-9 with Adil Rashid (30) and James Anderson (8) as the unbeaten batsmen.
Can Rashid and Anderson frustrate India further? Do not miss the action from the final day at Trent Bridge by following the live updates here.
11:30am – Stuart Broad fined for Rishabh Pant sendoff
England pacer Stuart Broad has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee and awarded one ICC demerit point for his sendoff to India debutant Rishabh Pant during the first innings in the third Test at Trent Bridge. The incident occurred during India’s first innings early on day two when Pant played on to Broad.
Read more on this breaking story here.
11:00am – Fakhar Zaman eager to make Pakistan Test debut
Pakistan batsman Fakhar Zaman is hoping to feature for the Test team after establishing himself as one of the most dangerous openers in limited-overs cricket. With Pakistan due to take on Australia in a two-Test series in the UAE, Fakhar is preparing himself for a call-up.
Read what the opening batsman had to say about his hopes for a Test debut and more here.
The visitors came back strongly from their losses in the first two Tests to take the game by the scruff of the neck in Nottingham with a “near-complete” display in the words of skipper Virat Kohli.
One of the protagonists of India’s huge win was pacer Jasprit Bumrah who finished with figures of 2-37 in the first innings followed by 5-85 in the second.
Here, we take a closer look at the 24-year-old’s fine performance.
OVERS BOWLED: 12.2
RUNS CONCEDED: 37
OVERS BOWLED: 29
RUNS CONCEDED: 85
Making his return to the side after recovering from a thumb injury, Bumrah showed why India had missed his services so badly with a seven-wicket haul in the Test. While he looked menacing in the first innings, it was in the second he really shone with a fiery and hostile spell using the second new ball which left England’s Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes in its wake. A fiver in his maiden Test on English soil was just reward for the pacer who showed no signs of rustiness after his injury layoff.
Jasprit Bumrah in Tests:— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) August 21, 2018
First five wickets haul in SA
Next five wickets haul in Eng
Relentless is the word for Bumrah’s Trent Bridge display. The pacer’s action makes it look like he might break down at any time but he did not let up on his pace at any point in the patch. There was plenty of gas left in his tank even when he came back for this third and fourth spells in the second inning as he gave England’s batsmen no respite. His excellent use of the second new ball late on day four was a sight to behold.
He took his time to get going in the first innings and was not entirely effective with the new ball despite bowling some threatening lines and lengths. Perhaps it took him some time to come to grips with the Duke ball because he was absolutely lethal with the second new-ball in the final innings. He also carried over his tendency to overstep in limited-overs cricket by bowling five no-balls in the Test and that is an aspect he will need to improve in the five-day format.
VERDICT – 8/10
It was an excellent return for the Mumbai pacer and one which will embolden India in the remaining two Tests to come. He could not have asked for a better showing in his maiden Test on English soil and the pace and accuracy he generated in both innings will have England’s batsmen worried.
Missing Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been a huge blow for India but if Bumrah keeps up this performance at Southampton and the Oval, India would not really be complaining too much.