Smith left to rue lack of spin options


Australia skipper Steve Smith was left with a pocketful of regret after he failed to name a specialist spinner in his XI for the second ODI against England.

Halfway through Australia’s innings it became apparent the Gabba surface was more receptive to spin than is traditional.

England would use two frontline spinners in Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali supplemented by the part-time wiles of Joe Root.

It was Root who was the surprise pick of the bowler’s nipping out Smith himself leg before wicket in a moment the Test skipper will surely savour after a tough summer of combat with Smith.

Australia opted to leave out the only frontline spinner in their squad, Adam Zampa and field a pace trio of Mitchell Starc, debutant Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye.

The part-time spin of Travis Head proved ineffective and he went for 55 from his seven overs while the skipper turned to Aaron Finch for three overs and the military medium of Marcus Stoinis who bowled 4.2 overs as England hunted down Australia’s total of 270 with 34 balls to spare.

Starc was the standout for Australia causing a real flutter when he removed Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali in quick succession before Chris Woakes and Root guided England home.

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Speaking after the match Smith conceded his side weren’t playing their best cricket:  “We’re just not playing good enough one-day cricket.

“We were in a pretty good position but we only scored about 60 off the final 11 overs and that’s not good enough against a quality England side. I knew England were capable of this.

“I hope we can get back on the ball in Sydney. We’re just not playing smart enough cricket.”

The vital third ODI will take place in Sydney on Sunday.