Sydney: Australian coach Darren Lehmann has encouraged cricketer Steve Smith to dust off his shelved off bowling talent and rediscover his confidence in the difficult art, according to fast bowler Ryan Harris.
Captain Michael Clarke`s decision to toss the ball to Smith late on the opening day of the Lord`s Ashes Test was a masterstroke given that Smith had almost shelved his bowling to concentrate on becoming a top-shelf batsman.
A report said that Cricket Australia was so keen to have a leg-spinner against England that it fast-tracked the citizenship of Pakistan-raised bowler Fawad Ahmed, even though Smith, who is also a much-improved batsman and a good fielder had been there all along even if he had almost given up on his bowling.
However, in view of Smith`s collecting 3-18 in six overs, taunting the English at Lord`s all over again after the retirement of Shane Warne, Lehmann has advised him to dust off his leg-breaks, according to Harris.
Stating that Smith has been bowling in the nets, Harris said that Lehmann wants the player to bowl for situations where the wicket is flat as Smith had showed that he can be a dangerous bowler when he gets it right, adding that he was the main spinner during his debut Test at Lord`s against Pakistan in 2010.
Praising Smith for having a good brain, reading the game well and for an improved batting, Harris said that Lehmann has been forcing the issue for Smith to bowl, adding that the young player is in the bracket to be the next leader with his talents and the fact that he has captained domestic side New South Wales (NSW).
Smith`s bowling is another part of an enticing package after an improved batting, and the selectors have been proactive in giving him leadership experience as he captained Australia A when Brad Haddin was rested before the Ashes, the report added.