Shane Warne reveals how to get Steve Smith out!
This English summer, the cricket world has battled with one solitary question: How can Steve Smith be dismissed before he gets another big score? England bowlers have tried everything. Bowling at his pads hasn't worked, neither has bowling outside the off-stump to him.
Whether England bowl short or full, Smith has the measure of it. So, is there any way to get this brilliant batsman out? Well, who better to answer this question than, arguably, the greatest spin bowler of all time and the man who got 708 Test wickets – Shane Warne.
While the former Australian cricketer would be hoping that Smith continues his good run of form and leads his team to more victories, he did make an honest effort to figure out a way of stopping Smith's run-scoring spree.
Speaking to host broadcasters of English cricket, Sky Sports, the iconic former leg-spinner said: "'If I was England captain, I think the real key is trying to get him to hit through the covers and play away from his body.
"You need to bowl full at him, not too wide but wide enough that he is looking to hit the ball through the offside. Then mix it up with the odd short ball, with a leg slip. That's what I'd be doing."
Warne also lamented England's deficient of use of slower deliveries against the prolific right-hander. "I also don't think there has been enough really good slower balls to Smith when he has first walked out to the middle," he added.
The all-time great former cricketer also pointed out England's lack of patience in following a set plan against Smith. "Whatever plans they have come up with, they either have not sustained them for long enough, could not execute them well enough, or Smith has just been too good."
The Aussie ace batsman has amassed 751 runs in this Ashes series despite having played only six innings. He got hundreds in each innings of the first Test and was on his way to another one in the first innings of the second before a bouncer from Jofra Archer forced him to retire hurt.
Smith couldn't bat in the second innings of that Test and missed the third game altogether. In the fourth match of the rubber, he scored a double hundred in the first innings and was out on 82 in the second trying to get some quick runs. He followed up these performances with an innings of 80 in the first innings of the final Test.
Let's wait and watch whether England take Warne's advice on board and whether even that is able to stop the batting maestro.