‘It’s exclusively up to the captain what happens out there’, says Steven Smith

"Everyone who was playing that Test match knew what was going on, knew that I'd made that declaration"

“Everyone who was playing that Test match knew what was going on, knew that I’d made that declaration”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Australia┬ábatsman Steven Smith has rejected claims by legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne that head coach Darren Lehmann was behind the national team’s decision to declare on the final day of the Boxing Day Test against India.

Smith, who was captaining Australia during that match, made it clear that he was in charge and that the decision to declare was his idea and not Lehmann’s.

“It’s exclusively up to the captain what happens out there,” Smith said. “Your breaks in play and stuff throughout Test matches, he comes and gives a bit of what he thinks we can do in the next session but the captain is the one who runs the ship.”

When asked why Lehmann was waving to the batsmen from the boundary line during the Boxing Day Test, Smith stated that they had failed to see his declaration gesture from the team viewing area.

“I think Boof was sitting on the sideline where he tends to sit here and there to watch the cricket and I was up the top actually trying to call the guys in but they couldn’t see me,” Smith said. “He sort of just said ‘look up there, he’s calling them in’. They showed him on the TV actually doing it, but I was up the top doing it. Yeah it was me [who declared].

“Everyone who was playing that Test match knew what was going on, knew that I’d made that declaration. I think Boof has done a terrific job around the group as coach, he’s done an outstanding job getting all the players together. We’re in a good place.”

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