Steve Smith's staggering admission about dismissal in second Test
The mercurial batter was left disappointed at his own performance against India.
Steve Smith has admitted that his dismissal in Delhi during the second Test was one of the worst of his career after he was bowled attempting his first sweep shot of the series. Smith was one of a number of Australian players to fall cheaply using the sweep shot against the spin of Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja as India retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy after taking a 2-0 lead in the series.
Six of Australia's 10 dismissals came via the sweep shot in the second innings against India, with Steve Smith and Matt Renshaw trapped lbw, and Pat Cummins, Alex Carey and Matthew Kuhnemann all clean-bowled. Former captain's Allan Border, Mark Taylor and Michael Clarke all took aim at the batting tactics that appeared to be premeditated.
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And Smith has admitted that his own dismissal left him stumped. Sitting alongside Ricky Ponting as the best batter since Don Bradman, Smith admitted that Delhi was one of the rare times he questioned his shot selection after 166 innings.
"I've played, what, (94) Test matches, and I don't think there's been too many times I've walked off the field and I've gone, 'What the hell am I doing?'," Smith said in Indore on Tuesday.
"I was pretty angry. There hasn't been too many times in my career where I've actually come off and just been bedazzled by what I've done. It wasn't my finest moment.
"We don't have to play at such a high tempo and risky tempo. Because we had them where we wanted them, we had men (available) and the ability to get off strike. We just rushed it."
Taylor was one of the most vocal critics of the team's shot selection and called out Smith for an act of 'desperation'. "The dismissal that shocked me the most was Steve Smith playing that sweep shot because it's not a shot he plays often," Taylor told 2GB's Wide World of Sports Radio following the second Test.
"That looked a shot of desperation to me. I would be saying to our batters, 'Just get back to basics. Get back to a simple plan that you think is going to work when the ball starts to turn and see how that goes'."
Even the rivals were critical of Australia's sweeping tactics with Jadeja's response telling after the match. The Indian star was asked if the sweep shot was a good choice, responding with a laugh: "Not on this pitch."
Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc to return
Smith is set to captain Australia in the third Test in Indore after Cummins returned to Sydney to be by his family's side with his mother unwell. The 33-year-old has captained Australia three times since Cummins started his reign.
Australia will make at least two changes for the third Test, with opener David Warner joining Cummins in leaving the tour after breaking his elbow in Delhi. His absence will allow Travis Head to again open with Usman Khawaja after successfully filling in for the 36-year-old Warner during the second innings.
Star quick Mitchell Starc will likely fill the void left by Cummins, although he admits he will be hindered by his injured finger. Todd Murphy is expected to be fit - after a side injury - to partner veteran Nathan Lyon and left-armer Matt Kuhnemann.
Smith said Green's availability gives the team more options with another quick. "It certainly helps with Greeny available, giving us two genuinely quick options (alongside Starc)," Smith said.
"It gives us the ability to play three (spinners) if we want to. The surface looks pretty similar to the last couple of Tests. I dare say we are going to see a lot of spin bowled in the Test ... it's certainly an option for us."
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