Steve Smith kept his form intact while frustrating the English bowlers by playing out plenty of dot balls in the second Test. He remained unbeaten on 13 off 40 deliveries as the third day of the second Ashes Test ended with Australia trailing by 178 runs with six wickets in hand.
Though Australia lost three wickets for 11 runs en route to slumping to 80-4 when rain forced an early lunch, Smith battled through some disciplined bowling from Stuart Broad and co. Smith who shuffles a lot while batting caught the eye of cricket fans and pundits across the world with his ball-leaving antics.
One of the commentators said on live TV, "You won't teach players to bat like him, and you won't teach them to leave like him."
The former Aussie skipper's theatrical movements while leaving deliveries had the Twitterati in splits, with several memes and puns doing the rounds.
He might not be an attractive looking batsman while playing but when Steve Smith leave deliveries like that you know he is a special talent. No better sight than this. #SteveSmith #Ashes #ENGvAUS #Ashes19 pic.twitter.com/AfeJOFrqF0— Aayush Sharma (@AayuJourno) August 17, 2019
The 24.1 overs that took place in the morning session represented the only action on Friday, with persistent rain leading the umpires to eventually abandon play for the day at 5:22 pm local time in a match where Wednesday's scheduled first day had already been washed out without a ball bowled.
Archer, on the ground where he bowled the Super Over that saw England seal a World Cup final win over New Zealand last month, had fine figures of one wicket for 18 runs in 13 overs.
Stuart Broad led the way with 2-26 in 13 overs, while fellow seamer Chris Woakes chipped in with 1-27 in nine.