Steve Smith responded to claims by great tester Matthew Hayden that Peter Handscombe’s pitching during the second day of play at Indore was ‘not Australian’, stating that he was ‘shocked’ to see remarks aimed at one of Australia’s most hardworking batters in this series. .
A daring 19 of Handscombe’s 98 deliveries went against the trend before the fiendish crash when Australia lost 6 wickets out of 11, but Hayden was unimpressed.
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“A (Handscombe) strike rate below 20 means you are not going anywhere and the scoreboard is not going anywhere,” he said in a comment.
“It’s almost un-Australian.
“He just doesn’t attack enough.”
Hayden’s comments came as part of a group of players on former coach Justin Langer’s roster looking to strike at the current team struggling in the subcontinent.
Damien Martin, who scored 444 at a 55.5 average in India’s famous Last Stand win in 2004/05, simply tweeted “#justinlanger” in a quickly deleted tweet after losing Australia in the first Test, while fellow Langer Western Australian Mitchell Johnson wrote that the side “doesn’t look like they care.”
Former teammate Mark Waugh, commenting after the Nagpur defeat, said “the Australians may be to blame for not trying hard enough”.
Hayden himself is friends with Langer, with the first duo becoming the fourth-highest scoring partnership in Test cricket history, scoring together 6,081 runs at an average of 51.53, also with one of Hayden’s most famous performances on the 2001 tour of India. known for his bowling prowess, offered his consulting services to Australians.
However, Smith did not have time for criticism from the previous generation, saying he was “pretty disappointed to see some of the comments in the last Test match around (Handscomb) not playing the Australian way.”
“I think he (Handscombe) was outstanding.
“The first two test games (31 and 72 didn’t come out) in the first innings of both and left pretty much a quandary,” Smith said.
“If any of the other top 7 could have partnered with him, things certainly could have been different.
“He batted beautifully in the first two matches, he stuck to his method, he trusted his defense and then he took balls that were either over or too short and played them from the back foot.
“His method has proven to be effective under difficult conditions.
“So I was shocked to see some of the comments on how he played because I think he and Uzzy (Khawaja) were probably our two best hitters in the series.”
Smith will lead the Aussies to the fourth Test starting this afternoon (3pm ET) in Ahmedabad and expects no changes to the team despite a grassier and bouncier wicket expected at Motor compared to the frantic turner Indore.
Regardless of the wicket, Smith says Australia will make the same bowling attack in Ahmedabad as it did in Indore, calling proposals to replace three seamers “staggering”.
“It was strange to hear comments at home when people were talking about us playing three fast and one spinner,” he said.
“It stuns me when we look at these surfaces and see what we had… 11 innings in six days or something like that.
“The spinners have taken most of the wicket and you can see how difficult it is to play on a spin.
“We believed in what we were trying to do and it’s good that we can show that we can play with three spinners and win.”
Originally published as Steve Smith hits back at Matthew Hayden while defending Peter Handscombe