Steve Smith
PC: Twitter

Last Update on: March 25th, 2023 at 03:57 pm

During the ODI series against India, Steve Smith’s captaincy for the Australian team in the absence of regular captain Pat Cummins played a vital role in their victory, according to Ravichandran Ashwin. Smith’s leadership proved particularly significant during the dismissal of Virat Kohli, which changed the course of the match and ultimately the series.

Despite being in control of the chase, India’s KL Rahul was caught at long-on while attempting a boundary, and Axar Patel was run-out due to a miscommunication. India still required 119 runs from 127 balls, with Kohli at the crease on 48.

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Hardik Pandya’s aggressive shots gave India a good start, but Smith noticed that the Chennai pitch was occasionally slowing down, which Agar took advantage of. Kohli and Pandya both tried to hit inside out against the left-arm spinner, but the stop-and-start nature of the pitch meant that the ball fell just short of the long-off fielder on both occasions. Despite Kohli’s best efforts, India’s batting line-up crumbled under the pressure, and Australia won the series.

Steve Smith Was Constantly Telling Ashton Agar: Ravichandran Ashwin

According to Ashwin, Steve Smith’s shrewd captaincy was evident when he noticed Kohli and Hardik’s movement at the crease and instructed Agar to bowl outside the off stump, tempting the Indian batsmen to make mistakes. Additionally, Smith asked David Warner, positioned at long-off, to come closer to the batsmen by a few steps, further restricting their shot-making options.

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“Let me highlight Steve Smith’s captaincy here. When Adam Zampa and Ashton were bowling, the pitch was holding a bit. Not all the balls turned, some were holding and going straight as well. Both Virat and Hardik tried to hit over extra cover and the ball fell just short of the long-off fielder. At that time, I noticed Steve Smith was constantly telling Ashton Agar from the first slip, ‘keep bowling it outside’. He was repeating this.”

“Because when they see the line, they will try to go over extra cover and if the ball holds its line and goes straight, it will go straight to long-off. He also made David Warner come in a bit from long-off and set-up the entire dismissal.”

In Agar’s next over, Kohli’s fortunes changed as he chipped a straightforward catch to Warner at long-off. This dismissal proved to be a turning point in India’s innings, as Suryakumar Yadav was dismissed for his third consecutive golden duck, causing India’s chase to falter.

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