Smith gutted with sloppy Dubai dismissals

Australia

Australia’s batting all-rounder Steve Smith was horrified by the way he was dismissed in the first innings against Pakistan in Dubai, saying it went against the entire plan of how he wanted to play in the UAE.

Smith was nicely set on 22, and as one of the team’s best players of spin, had not had much trouble. But then Yasir Shah sent down a wide top-spinner, and Smith fell for the cut shot bait, hook, line and sinker.

Smith recalled: “Just after I did it, I replayed it for about two hours. I don’t think I spoke to anyone, I was pretty disappointed. I know what I need to do in these conditions.

“I think I did it better in the second innings, I played much better cricket and good percentage play. [It was] the first ball he bowled that was actually a topspinner and it bounced a little bit more than I anticipated.

“I said to myself before I came over here that I really didn’t want to play too many cut shots against the spin and I was pretty disappointed with the way I got out in the first innings because I was feeling very good and got a start and I think it was a pretty crucial part of the game.”

He was equally disappointed with his second dismissal on day five, not because it was a particularly bad shot, but because of the match situation. He felt that if he’d been able to stick with Mitchell Johnson, given they already had a half to stand, they could have pulled off a draw.

He said: “I was feeling quite good and I was pretty disappointed when I got out. I thought we were heading in the right direction to get home and I was waiting all day just to fist pump at the end of the day.

“I’d pictured getting there at the end but it wasn’t to be. I can take a lot out of it from the way I played and the way I handled the spinners, it’s going to hold me in good stead for the next game.”

Smith then described how he went about playing spin, by being aggressive from the start, and said debutant Mitchell Marsh did well in new conditions, for the most part.

He added: “Mitch Marsh almost got it spot on how he played the ball he got out to in the second innings. The only problem his bat was too straight, he needed to face it down to the ground a bit more.

“He needed to reach out in front. It’s a good way to handle the spinners over here, it covers your pad, stops you from getting hit and if it does spin it’ll spin past your bat.

“That’s the way I play, I’ve got long arms and a decent reach, so that works well for me. But everyone’s different. I think it’s about having a game plan and sticking to it and doing it from ball one.

“I think the start of your innings is the toughest part. If you go out there and expect to see a few balls before you start doing your game plan that’s when you’re going to get into trouble, you’re going to have to do it from ball one.”

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