Steve Smith clears the air surrounding his controversial withdrawal during Sri Lanka tour
All the hype and hoopla regarding the Australian team's decision last month to pull out their captain midway through the Sri Lanka tour seems to be winding down. Keen to avoid similar situations in the future, Steve Smith has attributed the controversy to inadequate ‘messaging.’
Ahead of the Australian side’s departure to South Africa for ODIs against the Proteas as well as against Ireland, the 27-year old also called upon his team-mates to literally make their presence felt on the field.
Smith explained, “For me, it was just about getting the messaging across and I think we could have got the messaging across a fair bit better. We knew a fair way out that I was going to leave after the second one-day game. The fact we only brought it out the day before probably shocked a few people.”
He added, “So in the future, if this sort of thing pops up and someone’s having a rest, particularly me or probably David (Warner), it’s about getting it out a little bit earlier and making sure that message is right. I watched every ball that was bowled in the one-day series and I did miss it, but having said that it probably will do me the world of good looking at what's coming up.”
Warner’s energy was magnificent: Smith
Following the Test series in which they were blanked 3-0, Smith was withdrawn from the limited-overs leg of the tour in the aftermath of Australia’s loss in the second ODI at Colombo. Amidst criticism from former players such as Michael Clarke, Dean Jones and Michael Slater, head coach Darren Lehmann defended the move citing heavy workload as the reason.
However, Warner filled in and led the Aussies to victories in the remaining three ODIs as well as the couple of T20Is. The pugnacious left-hander’s positive approach and vigorous leadership managed to grab his skipper’s attention.
Smith admitted, “I thought his energy was magnificent throughout those games and looking forward that's the sort of energy we want from him and all of the other senior players. We've got a pretty quiet group and we need that sort of energy come South Africa and the summer as well.
“I thought in the Test series in Sri Lanka we lacked a fair bit of energy in the field and that probably cost us at times. We put down a few crucial chances and in the grand scheme of things that could have made a difference.”
Australia will take on Ireland at Willowmoore Park on the 27th of September before the 5-match series against South Africa begins in Centurion on the 30th.