During Pakistan’s harrowing defeat at Brisbane in the first Test, Yasir Shah had a small moment of cheer.
The leg-spinner who had toiled for 32 overs, castled Steve Smith when he was batting on four. The 33-year-old celebrated the wicket by making a seven-finger gesture, indicating the number of times he had managed to pick up Smith’s wicket in his career.
The celebration might have irked the Australian talisman who has stated that he is looking to make amends in the upcoming second Test of the series at Adelaide.
“It gave me a bit more motivation next game to not get out to him,“ Smith said Tuesday at Adelaide Oval. “So I will probably be a little bit more disciplined against him.“
Smith reasoned that since Australia were already in a commanding position when he walked out to bat, and that could have resulted in some lethargy creeping in.
“It was probably a bit more casual than if I’d come in at 2 for 20. I probably would have been a bit more cautious and got into my innings a bit more rather than playing a somewhat reckless shot. But we live and we learn and we go again.
“The scoreboard was in a pretty good place. I wasn’t too disappointed. I usually do get pretty disappointed when I get out but the position we were in, we were in a pretty good one so it didn’t faze me too much and it seemed to make him pretty happy, that’s for sure.”
Stuart Broad is the only bowler to have dismissed Smith more times than the Pakistan leg-spinner.
“I actually didn’t even know that he’d gotten me out [seven times]. I thought that he’d gotten me out once or twice. Seven times? There you go. Pakistan [UAE] 2014, he got me twice at least there, actually three times.”
As impressive as Shah’s record looks against Smith, a little bit of context is needed. Many of those dismissals came in scenarios when quick runs were needed and so Smith had to hit to try and get some quick runs.
“A few of those times I was slogging to set up a game or second innings. He got me out slogging trying to do something once or twice too,” Smith said. “A couple of them I guess you’d call them cheap wickets in a way, but he’s got me a couple of conventional times as well.
“I thought he bowled really well at the Gabba last week. He got good drift and a little bit of spin when it was on offer. I’m not overly worried about him but playing with a bit more discipline this week and hopefully will score some runs.”
Steve Smith is the leading run scorer in Tests in 2019 with 778 runs from just eight innings. He enjoyed a stellar Ashes series with the bat and helped his team reclaim it away from home.
The second and final match of the series will be a day-night Test and it begins on November 29.
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