Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Australia skipper Steve Smith admitted that his side were thoroughly outplayed in the recently concluded five-match ODI series against England, but made it clear that he has no intention of stepping down as captain.
Despite his struggles with the bat, Smith reiterated that he still wants to lead Australia’s ODI team.
“I’m happy leading these boys at the moment,” Smith was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “Unfortunately I haven’t done as well with the bat in this series as I would have liked. Probably both me and Dave as the senior players, haven’t stepped up.
“We were talking about it just before and that really hurts your team when your two senior players aren’t scoring the runs that they need to be.
“I’d like to keep taking this team forward and leading the boys and doing the best I can.”
In the last 12 months, Australia have lost 11 of their last 13 ODIs, which is highly worrying as the 2019 World Cup is fast approaching.
When asked what is to blame for his side’s disappointing run in the 50-over format, Smith said: “Starting with the ball and middle-order collapses. It’s been a trend for us for about 12 months and you just can’t afford to do it. You’ve got to have your top four scoring big runs and doing it consistently day in, day out.
“We haven’t been able to do that. We collapse in the middle and don’t give ourselves a chance to use the power that we’ve got at the back end of games.
“We’ve got some strong boys that can clear the rope at will but we’re not getting ourselves in the positions to enable them to do that. Something’s got to change in that aspect.”
With the ODI series over, Smith will now have some much-needed time off before Australia travel to South Africa for a four-Test series.
However, in the time that he is resting up, Australia will be involved in the T20 tri-series, which also features England and New Zealand.
David Warner will not only lead the side, but is also the only player in Australia’s Test squad to be participating in the tournament. As a result, it is likely that he will miss the only warm-up game the Baggy Greens play prior to the Test series against South Africa.
“I hope he’ll be okay. I’m sure if he’s not he’ll have a word and see how he’s going,” Smith said. “Obviously South Africa’s an important series for us, as is the T20 series now. We’ve got to start playing better white-ball cricket as a whole.
“I’m looking forward to this rest. It’s been a long summer. I haven’t contributed the way I would have liked in this (ODI) series. A couple of weeks off now to I guess refresh, recharge and get myself ready for what’s (going to be) a challenging South African tour.”