'What the hell am I doing?’ - Smith admits feeling angry over Delhi Test dismissal
Steve Smith admitted feeling "pretty angry" about his second-innings dismissal in the Delhi Test against India. Ahead of the Indore Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the stand-in Australian captain said he couldn't believe the messed-up position he found himself in, given out LBW sweeping a low skidder from R Ashwin.
When Australia needed to take their third-innings lead to about 220-230, which would've given them a greater say in the contest where low bounce and new-ball turn made batters' life extremely difficult, Smith's poor dismissal for just 9 off 19 balls fastened the visitors' irrevocable collapse.
Trying to take the great Indian off-spinner down, Steve Smith got out LBW sweeping with his front leg right across the off-stump, making it as plumb as it could get for the umpire. The position he found himself, playing a high-risk stroke on such a deck, got the modern-day legend fuming inside the dressing room as he revealed prior to the third Test.
'Bedazzled and angry', Smith reacts to Delhi Test dismissal
"I've played, what, 95 Test matches (94) and I don't think there's been too many times I've walked off the field and I've gone, ‘what the hell am I doing?’," Smith told the reporters as the series heads to the central India with the coveted BGT 2023 tilting in hosts' favour after their successive Test wins.
"I was pretty angry. There hasn't been too many times in my career where I've actually come off and just been bedazzled by what I've done. It wasn't my finest moment."
What would've added to the dismay is the fact that it was Smith's second cheap dismissal of the Test against Ashwin, having gotten out LBW in the first essay, too, without even opening his account. These untimely dismissals have meant that despite looking in good touch, Smith has collected just 71 runs over four innings of the tour.
A lot has been made about the Australian inability to counter the Indian spinners but their stand-in skipper said an area where the tourists can really get better in is not letting things rush by in the middle. The comment was directed towards Australia's horrible collapse on the morning of Day 3 in Delhi, where they went from 61/1 overnight to 113 all out in just over 30 overs.
With the Indians offering them no breathing space at the crease, the Aussies resorted to the sweep shot, which was later criticised as it only triggered their downfall, being the most risky option on that track.
"Certainly something to learn from, I'm still learning as well. It wasn't the way I wanted to play, particularly when I had the field set for all of us – they had the field out."
"We probably just rushed things a little bit and it's something we'll talk about …when we've got them on the ropes, we can slow things down. We don't have to play at such a high tempo and risky tempo. Because we had them where we wanted them, we had men out and the ability to get off strike. We just rushed it," he added.
Smith looked forward to the Indore Test where he makes a return to Test captaincy in the absence of Pat Cummins, who has gone back home to attend to his ailing mother. It isn't yet clear if the regular captain and pacer will be back for the fourth and the final Test in Ahmedabad.