Australia: Steve Smith surprised by ‘benign’ Rawalpindi pitch

Steve Smith Ashes

Australia batter Steve Smith admits that he has been surprised by how lifeless the pitch has been in their first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi.

Smith hit 78, but was made to grind out his runs as Pakistan opted to use some negative lines once the Australia middle order, bedded in.

There hadn’t been much in it for Australia up front and even Pakistan haven’t been able to coax any spark out of the surface.

“It’s pretty benign,” Smith said of the wicket at the post-day press conference.

“There’s not a great deal of pace and bounce in it for the seamers. I think the spinners have offered a little bit.

“When you hit the right length there’s been a little bit of natural variation and you know, when you get it out a bit wider into the rough I think there’s a little bit there as well.

“So I thought it would break up a little bit more and probably turn a bit more from the start, but it probably hasn’t done so. But yeah, pretty benign, dead wicket.”

Smith was disappointed to get out in the manner he did, chasing a wide delivery to become one of spinner Nauman Ali’s four victims.

“Pretty annoyed [with the way I got out],” Smith said.

“I got a bit greedy with the field they had set.

“Even if I was hitting that I was probably only getting a single, so disappointed to have worked pretty hard and got myself in a nice position to go on and get a big score.

“I’m disappointed in my shot selection and probably just the position of the game as well.

“Perhaps if we were five down we might have been able to push a little harder in the morning and potentially set something up for the fourth innings of the match. You never know if you get a 100 lead what can happen so yeah, a bit disappointing.”

Play will resume on day four with Australia still in their first innings on 449 for 7, trailing Pakistan by 27 runs.

Smith is still holding out for an unlikely victory.

He added: “Hopefully, the tail can stay out there for a while. And if they do, they usually score pretty quickly.

“If they do, there’s a decent chance that we’d be able to set a half-decent total to potentially have a bowl at.

“If we get a hundred or something in front, you just never know with this game. We take a few early wickets, a couple of balls hit the rough, some things happen on day five. So hopefully they can spend a bit of time out there. We’ll see how we go.”