Former spinner Graeme Swann has criticised the technique of Australia’s premier batsman Steven Smith and suggested that the prospect of facing the world’s number one batsman in a forthcoming Ashes series was not giving England sleepless nights.
Swann retired midway through the 2013-14 Ashes but not before dismissing the right-hander three times in 22 innings. England take on Australia in the first Ashes Test on August 8 in Cardiff.
Smith has emerged as Australia’s premier batsman unleashing an avalanche of runs in recent times. He was the highest run-getter in the Test series against India last year.
But Swann believes the 26-year-old has a flawed technique and his weaknesses will be exposed against a swinging ball.
Swann also expressed his surprise at Smith being at the top of the Test rankings. “Yeah, because I didn’t think he was a great player. I still don’t think he’s got a great technique,” he was quoted by The Guardian on Saturday.
“He must have surprised himself, as well as everyone else, with his output. The trick for him is to try to keep that going. Whether he can, time will tell. I don’t think he’ll score runs at three if it’s swinging.
Swann also compared Smith to past Australia legends Matthew Hayden or Adam Gilchrist and said he doesn’t possess the aura of invincibility like his illustrious compatriots.
“Weakness will emerge with Steve Smith. He’s not like a Steve Waugh – a nugget with no obvious ways of getting him out. I hope for England’s sake that he’s a flash in the pan. He doesn’t strike fear in you like the Aussies used to, with a Matthew Hayden or an Adam Gilchrist.”