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'We are expecting some different stuff'

June 16, 2023 10:17 IST
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'One of my big strengths has been adapting on the go, understanding what they are trying to do and solving the problem out there in the middle.'

IMAGE: Steve Smith scored 774 runs in seven innings in the 2019 Ashes series. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Steve Smith expects to face some tough, unusual, bowling in the Ashes series against England, which begins at Edgbaston this afternoon.

'We've seen over the last 12 months they will do some funky things. They are going to have to try different things at certain times,' Smith told reporters in Birmingham ahead of the firt Test.

'For me, one of my big strengths has been adapting on the go, understanding what they are trying to do and solving the problem out there in the middle. I will just focus on my game and try to counter each thing they come at me with. We are expecting some different stuff, that's for sure,' Smith added.

Smith, the second-ranked Test batter in the ICC Test rankings, has a superb record against England and is set to face gargantuan challenges from a team who have been creative with their strategies under Captain Ben Stokes and Coach Brendon McCullum.

Smith also revealed why Australia will prefer facing the returning Moeen Ali, who is back in the England team for the opening Ashes Test, instead of the injured Jack Leach.

'Leachy's not here, so they don't have a left-arm spinner, so it's a bit different, the ball's spinning in. I'm sure there will be times facing Mo, there will be times where we're a bit more aggressive and times where we bring it back.'

IMAGE: Steve Smith loves playing against England and this time he is targetting England offie Moeen Ali. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Smith scored centuries in both innings to kick off the last Ashes series in impressive fashion at the same ground.

His opening day 144 at Edgbaston in 2019 set the tone for a series in which he scored a phenomenal 774 runs across seven innings.

'That Test match is probably my favourite out of my career so far, given the circumstances and the importance of a first Ashes Test, particularly away from home,' Smith said.

'It would be nice to repeat it again, but I'm just going to go out there and go through my routines and do what I need to do, and hopefully I can score some runs and help the team out.

'Coming back here I've got some wonderful memories and some things I can draw from. However, I know it's a new series, it’s a new year, a new Ashes, so I can draw on those experiences but not read too much into it.

"You go to different grounds around the world that you've done well at and you can take some positives out of those and sort of move forward with them, but ultimately it's another game.'

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