Broad: We’ll be testing Smith’s technique


England fast bowler Stuart Broad feels Australia's number three batsman Steve Smith could be vulnerable to the seaming Duke ball when the Ashes series gets underway new month.

Smith, who is currently the world's top ranked batsman in Test cricket after a prolific last 18 months, was promoted to come in at the fall of the first wicket on Australia's tour to the West Indies last month and promptly scored a Test century.

But Broad, who will open the bowling for the Three Lions, feels the New South Welshman's tachnique is better suited to batting at number five when the ball is older.

In England the Duke ball is used for international matches as opposed to the Kookaburra that is used in Australia and in most countries around the world.

Broad said: "He's obviously had a fantastic 18 months since he's changed his technique a bit. But I think it's an advantage for us with him coming in at No. 3 with the Dukes ball in England.

"I'm certainly not doubting the quality of him as a player. He's a wonderful player and I enjoy watching him play when I'm not bowling at him. I think if he comes in at five like Joe Root does for us there are not many weaknesses there.

"But you have to have a very tight technique to bat in the top three against the Dukes ball in England and it's up to us as an opening attack to get an early wicket and get him in early against the new ball, because he's not had amazing success in England.

"I've got a few ideas. We'll be looking to try and test his technique with a Dukes ball early."

The Ashes starts on 8 July with the first test taking place in Cardiff.