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Did a fidgety Steve Smith throw off umpire Dar? Broad has a theory

by Wisden Staff 2-minute read

A fidgety Steve Smith doesn’t distract him, Stuart Broad has insisted, but the England bowler is less certain about what it does to the umpires.

Smith’s tics at the crease are legendary. While his unorthodox technique and elaborate routines serve him well, they have been a source of both amusement and irritation for those watching him. “A lot of what he does is try to put you off in a way, trying to make it look extremely different,” Joe Root, the England captain, had said before the second Test at Lord’s.

During the second Test, the spotlight fell on Smith’s exaggerated leaves, but Broad claimed he himself didn’t notice it too much while in the middle. “When you’re bowling, you don’t see that,” the senior England bowler insisted. “You bowl the ball, you see where the ball goes, you turn around and walk away. I suppose the fielders see a little more of that.”

But he does believe that the Australian batsman’s fidgeting might have affected the decision on a dismissal. Broad rapped Travis Head on the pads in the first session on Friday, August 16, but umpire Aleem Dar wasn’t moved by England’s appeal. The decision went up, and DRS ruled in favour of Broad.

“I think he is quite fidgety. I think he might have even done Aleem Dar on Head’s lbw because he (Smith) threw his arm out as it to say it was going down the leg side. I think Aleem was going to give it and saw Steve’s hand go,” said Broad.

“He explains every bit of cricket on the field with his movements after it has happened. It’s the way he stays in his batting bubble and he does it very well.”

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