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'Gripping' tale: Smith on how he rediscovered his mojo

Source: PTI
December 02, 2020 17:07 IST
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Smith said he brought his hands back to a more neutral position which had helped him stop slicing the ball.

IMAGE: Steve Smith said he brought his hands back to a more neutral position which had helped him stop slicing the ball. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Star Australia batsman Steve Smith has revealed that he rediscovered his touch by slightly modifying his batting grip and is fascinated by the results as he scored back-to-back centuries against India to contribute in hosts' ODI series win.

Before the start of the series, Smith had warned that he has "found his hands", referring to the rhythm he was enjoying.

This was after a below-par show in the Indian Premier League that concluded last month, where he captained Rajasthan Royals and managed only 311 runs from 14 games and mostly looked out of touch.

"I'm fascinated by it too," Smith said when asked what did he mean when he said that he has "found his hands".

 

"I guess over the years I have had a couple of different grips. When I was batting my best back in 2014 and 2015 World Cup my top hand was probably straight down the middle of the back of the bat," he told Fox Cricket.

"In the last couple of years I have sort of gone a bit more round here (to the side) and then this one (bottom hand) underneath."

Smith said he brought his hands back to a more neutral position which had helped him stop slicing the ball.

"... that (grip) in particular pushes up against this part of my hand, so it stops the bat. It has helped me stop slicing the ball. I feel like I was slicing the ball and wasn't meeting the ball where I needed to.

"When my hand is round like this there is nothing it sort of locks onto, so it keeps going through.

"So this grip just keeps it locked in and I'm able to hit particularly wide of mid-off and straight down the ground. I know when I do that really well that something has clicked into place."

Asked when he found this out, Smith said, "It was just one net session during our quarantine about three days before the first game (played at the SCG on November 27) where I just started doing that again.

"I went back and looked at a lot of footage from 2014 and 2015 and I tried it and everything just clicked into place and it felt good. So hopefully it can continue to feel good."

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Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021