Smith ready to resume Archer Ashes battle at Old Trafford


Australia star Steve Smith claims he will not change his style as he prepares to go back up against England’s Jofra Archer.

The 30-year-old missed the third Ashes Test due to concussion, but he is hoping to return in the fourth match of the series at Old Trafford on September 4.

Smith was hit in the neck area by an Archer delivery at Lord’s, but the former Aussie skipper says he is ready to resume their rivalry.

“There’s been a bit of talk that he’s got the wood over me, but he actually hasn’t got me out,” said Smith.

“He hit me on the head on a wicket that was a bit up and down at Lord’s, but all the other bowlers have had more success against me I dare say. I’ve faced them a bit more, and they’ve all got me out a lot more, so I’m pretty comfortable about that.”

A number of batsmen have been hit by bouncers during the series so far, and calls have been made to make stem-guards compulsory.

Smith admits he finds them uncomfortable, but he is willing to wear one if the rules change.

“I’ve tried them before, and I tried them again in the nets, and I reckon my heart rate went up about 30 or 40 straight away,” he added.

“I think at some point they’re probably going to become mandatory, so I’m going to have to get used to them and I’m sure the more I wear them, the more I practice with them, my heart rate will come down, and everything will be okay.”

Smith will continue his comeback in Australia’s tour match in Derby from Thursday in a side led by Usman Khawaja with captain Tim Paine rested.

England’s dramatic win at Headingley means the series is locked at 1-1 with two Tests to play. A win for Australia at Old Trafford or in the final Test at The Oval will be enough to retain the Ashes.