How pitiful it would’ve been for Australia if Steve Smith did not decide to challenge the onfield umpire’s lbw decision!
A Stuart Broad delivery pitched outside offstump and then nipped-back-in to hit the pads of Smith’s back leg. On nacked eyes, it was a plumb leg before wicket and the umpire’s positive response to Broad’s appeal was understandable.
But Smith decided to review it, which proved to be a vital one. Smith survived and went in to script one of the best Test hundreds of this year.
Now, why Smith was so confident about being not out? It was because of his strong awareness of where his offstump was!
Sunil Gavaskar more often emphasized knowing your offstump, which is one of the vital components to become a successful batsman in Test cricket. If you know where your offstump is, it becomes easier to leave the deliveries pitching up angles, which either jagg back in or leave.
Steve worked on this awareness for sure because like Virat Kohli, once upon a time, he was weak in-and-around offstump. England tried to exploit that weakness yesterday, but Smith hardly fell into their trap as he left them confidently and forced England to bowl too straight – the line changed from off to middle and the bat did not come down in an angled way, but straight to fetch runs.
That sense of awareness about offstump, did Smith a world of good.
Australia can dream to fight back.