Don’t think Archer has edge over me: Steve Smith
Jofra Archer and Steve Smith will resume their duel in the 4th Ashes Test in Manchester. (AFP Image)

Australia batsman Steve Smith has denied claims that England fast bowler Jofra Archer has any edge over him as they two get set to renew their rivalry after Round 1 was cut short due to the former captain’s concussion.

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Smith, who missed the third Test having failed to clear the affects of concussion, is back in the nets and gearing up for Australia’s three-day practice match against Derbyshire. On Wednesday, Smith faced rounds from fast bowler Mitchell Marsh and Michael Neser and although neither possesses the pace of Archer, Smith is confident of tackling him, the self-belief stems from the pure fact that he is yet to be dismissed by the 24-yer-old.

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“I’m not really going to change anything,” Smith said. “There’s been a bit of talk that he’s got the wood over me, but he hasn’t actually got me out. “He hit me on the head on a wicket that was a bit up and down at Lord’s. He actually didn’t get me out. All the other bowlers have had more success against me, I dare say. I’ve faced them a bit more, but they’ve all got me out a lot more. I’m pretty comfortable with that. Now it’s just about getting out there and playing the game.”

Archer knocked Smith over with a vicious bounder during the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, leading to the batsman missing out batting in the second innings and eventually the game in Leeds. But with the fourth Test starting at the Old Trafford, it gives Smith plenty of time to prepare against Archer and the bouncer barrage he is expected to deliver.

Smith will also get to face the likes of James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc in the nets. Aware of the short balls that are likely to be directed at him, Smith doesn’t rule out England pitching the ball up, just to inject that little element of surprise.

“If they’re bowling up there it means they can’t nick me off, or hit me on the pad or hit the stumps,” Smith said. “With the Dukes ball I don’t know, it’s an interesting ploy. So we’ll see what happens.”