Former England skipper Michael Atherton has questioned Steve Smith’s captaincy skills and also England’s selection in the ongoing second Ashes Test.
Smith is leading Australia in the second Test match after full-time skipper Pat Cummins was ruled out due to the Covid-19 scare.
Earlier Cricket Australia had decided to appoint Smith as the vice-captain after Tim Paine’s sexting scandal. Meanwhile, Steve Smith was banned for two years from any leadership role in Australian Cricket after Cape Town ball-tampering scandal. Furthermore, David Warner was banned for life from any leadership role after the controversy.
Atherton feels Smith is self-absorbed in himself especially when he is batting. It is noted that Smith is generally in his own zone when he is batting and Atherton feels it could impact his captaincy.
“I think once you’ve been punished and done your time in any reasonable society there must be a chance for people to come again. The only thing I wonder about Steve Smith, his role as captain generally’ he’s so self-absorbed it seems to me as a cricketer, certainly as a batsman, he seems to exist in his own world, this bubble,” said the 53-year-old on SEN Test Cricket.
“I just wonder about his role generally as captain, I have no problems with him being given the opportunity again, whether he’s the best man for it is another question. I’ve always found it odd the slight differential in punishment between Smith and David Warner, I’ve never quite understood that,” added Atherton, who played 115 Tests for England.
On the other hand, England decided to play with five fast bowlers in James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, and Ben Stokes in second Test. The visitors decided to drop Jack Leach, who was taken for 102 runs in only 13 overs in the first innings of the first Test. Atherton noted that the Adelaide pitch is brown and questioned England’s selection.
Furthermore, England was docked five WTC points after a slow over-rate in the opening Test, and playing no specialist spinner could make it difficult for England to bowl their overs in time.
“It’s curious isn’t it, we’re here at Adelaide, there’s not a cloud in the sky, the pitch looks brown and England have five seamers. Last week at the Gabba, the pitch looked tinged with green, it seemed cloudy and overcast and a bit of humidity as well and they went with the spinner.”
“It seems curious and counter-intuitive. I think it’s one of the problems England have at the moment, they slightly overthink matters and they’re always playing a game ahead of themselves rather than the game that’s right in front of them.”