The captain of the Australian Cricket Team, Michael Clarke, has admitted that not including the middle order batsman Steven Smith in the playing XI was a wrong decision in yesterday’s match against Zimbabwe.
Australia, shockingly, lost that match to Zimbabwe by 3 wickets. It was their first defeat against the African nation in more than three decades.
The track at Harare Sports Club was clearly sluggish and was expected to turn. But, in spite of that, the Australian team management left out Smith who not only is a good batsman against spin, but, a good spin bowler as well, probably more than a part timer. So, he would have offered a lot more in those conditions than somebody like Mitchell Marsh or even Glenn Maxwell for that matter.
Speaking in the post match press conference, Clarke said, “Steve could be useful here yes. But, the bottom line is that we just didn’t play well enough. The conditions were difficult no doubt, but, that doesn’t mean you can’t win. Obviously, credit goes to Zimbabwe. They were positive towards the end there and they should get all the plaudits for what they have done. Congratulations to them.”
When asked why the spearhead fast bowler Mitchell Johnson was not in the playing XI either, the Kangaroo skipper said, “Actually, the final call on the playing XI is taken by the selectors and my job is just to manage the proceedings on the ground. But, as I said replying to the previous question as well that whichever players are out there, they need to play well. With performance like this, we wouldn’t win any game against any team.”
Australia’s next match in the tri-series is against the South African team at the Harare Sports Club only on Tuesday.