Former England cricketer Michael Atherton has questioned the leadership of Steve Smith saying he is a self-absorbed cricketer and seems to exist in his own world. Australia are in a strong position at the end of day 1 in the pink-ball Test in Adelaide being poised at 221/2 in 89 overs.
Ashes 2021-22 commenced on December 8 and Australia are leading the series by 1-0. They will be looking forward to strengthening their lead in the series with a win while England will try to bounce back by winning the fixture. Coming into the series, Tim Paine had resigned from the captaincy of the Australia Test squad and Pat Cummins was handed the leadership for Ashes.
Cummins has been ruled out of the pink-ball Adelaide Test as he came in close contact with a Covid-19 positive case. In his absence, Steve Smith will lead the side in the second Test for the first time after the sandpaper scandal in 2018 against South Africa. He has captained Australia in 35 Tests winning 18 out of them. The team lost 10 Tests under his leadership while 6 were drawn.
Former England cricketer Michael Atherton has questioned the leadership skills of Smith saying that he is a self-obsessed cricketer and seems to exist in his own world.
“I think once’you’ve been punished and done your time in any reasonable society there must be a chance for people to come again. The only thing I wonder about Steve Smith, his role as captain generally’ he’s so self-absorbed it seems to me as a cricketer, certainly as a batsman, he seems to exist in his own world, this bub”le,” Atherton said on SEN Test Cricket
“I just wonder about his role generally as captain, I have no problems with him being given the opportunity again, whet’er he’s the best man for it is another quest’on. I’ve always found it odd the slight differential in punishment between Smith and David Warner, I’ve never quite understood that.”
The left arm spinner Jack Leach has been dropped from the side for the pink-ball Test. He was expensive in the first Test leaking 103 runs from 12 overs and just picking one wicket. Atherton also questioned the decision saying that England slightly overthink matters and that is one of their problems at the moment.
“It’s curious isn’t it, we’re here at Adelaide, there’s not a cloud in the sky, the pitch looks brown and England have five seamers. Last week at the Gabba, the pitch looked tinged with green, it seemed cloudy and overcast and a bit of humidity as well and they went with the spinner,” he explained.
“It seems curious and counter-intuitive. I think it’s one of the problems England have at the moment, they slightly overthink matters and they’re always playing a game ahead of themselves rather than the game that’s right in front of them.”
Australia are poised at 221/2 at the end of day 1 of the Adelaide Test. David Warner scored 95 runs while Marnus Labishcagne played a unbeaten knock of 95 and will continue his innings on Friday.