Australian star batsman Steve Smith made a special trip to Lord’s in preparation for the second Ashes Test: his father, Peter.
Father and son were seen laughing together about cricket at home on Tuesday, as Smith offered a tense understanding that his wickets would be greatly appreciated in England.
This comes as the hosts are wary of the resurgence of Marnus Labuchen and Smith at Lord’s, while the team is not convinced that paceman Stuart Broad has his sidekick.
Labushan and Smith’s failures at Edgbaston marked the first time each had been dismissed less than 20 times in an identical match.
Australian star batsman Steve Smith made a special trip to Lord’s in preparation for the second Ashes Test – his father Peter
Father and son have been seen sharing a laugh, with Smith the key wicket England crave if they want to stage an Ashes series.
The low numbers saw each fall in the official ICC rankings, with Labuschagne slipping from No.1 to Joe Root to No.3, while Smith is now in his lowest position since 2014 at No.6.
There have also been strategies that have gotten into Labuchen’s head for Broad after he fell behind twice with tricky outswingers in the series opener.
Labuschagne has scaled back on those strategies this week, while changing his method to eliminate the mix-up over the fold he used at Edgbaston.
This comes after Broad publicly trumpeted his new outswinger’s lead game as well as the sequence, making it no secret that he developed it in his thoughts with Smith and Labuschagne.
But for all Broad’s success and England’s vocal nature in the previous week, skipper Ben Stokes cannot announce that his seamer of the attacking weapon has suffered a psychological blow.
Cricket is a fickle recreation at times. He was the first striker on the planet, then Brody knocked him out twice,” Stokes mentioned.
“Players like that don’t miss that often.
“Broady bowled two incredible deliveries and it’s always great to see Marnus Labuschagne and Stephen Smith back early, but quality players always find a way to bounce back.
Stuart Broad dismissed Marnus Labuchen twice at Edgbaston and the batsman will also look to trouble Lord’s wicket-takers.
“We won’t read too much into it, but it’s nice to know there might be something for Marnus.”
Australia will also rely on the pair to return to their usual run efficiency.
The duo hit the road every day in preparation for Wednesday’s test and even returned to the nets on Saturday with back-up crew members.
Smith made his Lord’s debut in 2010 and averaged 54.42 at the famous venue, and was also in Labuschagne’s comeback XI as a concussion alternative in 2019.
“History suggests that Marnus and Smitty rarely miss,” mentioned captain Pat Cummins.
“I expect a tough week from them. The same goes for the opposite guys who couldn’t have had the best week.
“I don’t think we rested practically the last week.
“That’s one of many nice problems: we weren’t the best, but we managed to cross the road.”