Steven Smith vows to correct Australia's abysmal record in Asia
Frustrated with the 106-run loss in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Pallekele, Australian captain Steven Smith has vowed to overturn his side’s fortunes in the subcontinent. However, he admitted that constant improvement was the key to address the malaise.
In the post-match press conference, Smith claimed, “It is disappointing. I said before the game that we haven't played well in subcontinent conditions for quite a while now. It's something that under my captaincy, I want to change. There were glimpses throughout this game that we've improved in some aspects. But I think we just let ourselves down a lot as well.“
Despite bundling the Lankans out for just 117 during the opening day, Australia refused to stamp their authority on the situation through a below par effort in the first innings. Smith was himself partly responsible for the situation with a poor shot against the guile of Rangana Herath.
Crucially, a better performance in the first innings would have made things easier on a day five track. But, he did not accept the criticism heaped upon him and instead believed that having an aggressive mindset was the way to go.
The 27-year old felt, “I generally play spinners quite aggressively. I've hit that ball for four or six several times throughout my career. I got beaten on the inside of the bat. It's just summing it up and making sure I play with a straighter bat if I'm trying to go over the top. I know it looked ugly and it probably didn't look great. For me, it's about making sure I still have that intent to score.”
He would have a chance to make amends in the next Test at Galle which might assist spin even more. With Steve O’Keefe ruled out of the series due to an injury, the uncapped Jon Holland has been called up.
Smith hoped, “Galle is the biggest spinning place here in Sri Lanka or so we've been told, so it's going to play a big part again. Jon Holland is a class bowler, he's done pretty well in state cricket and having a left-arm orthodox bowler in these conditions is a must. We'll be working with him to make sure he gets that in and I'm really excited for him to join us.”