Adelaide: After failing to tame Australia skipper Steve Smith in the Ashes opener at the Gabba, English pace spearhead James Anderson on Thursday revealed another strategy to keep the right-hander silent in the second Test, starting on Saturday.
“I just think you’ve almost got to take him out of the picture when you’re bowling because if your eyeline is watching him and what he’s doing, then I think it really distracts you from where you want the ball to go,” Anderson told reporters here.
“You’ve got to really try and almost blank him out and really focus on where you want the ball to go. Obviously, the plans to him, I wouldn’t say they didn’t work, but we didn’t get him out, so they worked to an extent.”
Smith stroked a brilliant unbeaten 141 in Australia’s 10-wicket thumping of England at Brisbane, the skipper’s sixth Ashes century in his 18th Test against the Three Lions.
But the 28-year-old had to sweat his way to his 21st Test ton, consuming 261 balls in what was the slowest of his centuries so far.
Unfazed by his batting approach, Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Tests said getting Smith’s wicket cheaply is crucial to the tourists’ chances of squaring the series.
“We dried his runs up and made him work really hard for his hundred but obviously we want to get him out. He was the difference between the two teams.
“So, getting him out here will be crucial,” he said.
Anderson expected more swing and movement with the pink ball off the Adelaide pitch in the twilight conditions along with his new-ball partner Stuart Broad.
“Hopefully more pace in the wicket might help us, but we’ve just got to be as relentless as we possibly can to someone like that,” he said.