Australia vs New Zealand: ‘I’ve learnt to just block it’ - Steve Smith reacts after getting booed by Kiwi fans at MCG
Australia batsman Steve Smith gave a fitting reply to his detractors after getting booed by a section of New Zealand fans during the opening day of second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Thursday. Despite good bowling from the Kiwis, the hosts took control of the second Test as they ended the day at 257/4, with Steve Smith batting at 77.
When Smith came out to bat after the fall of two wickets, he was greeted by a mixture of cheers and boos at the iconic venue. It seems the Kiwi fans still haven’t forgotten about Smith’s involvement in the infamous ‘Sandpaper Gate’ that rocked Australia cricket last year.
Smith was suspended for 12 months while he was also stripped off the captaincy and given a leadership ban. Following this latest episode of booing, Smith had something to say to the boo-boys.
“Is that what happened? I have no idea,” Smith said at the end of day’s play. “I don’t really listen when I walk out to bat. Cheering, booing, dunno (don’t know). I’ve learnt to just block it all out, regardless, good or bad.”
Meanwhile, Smith continued his love affair with the Melbourne Cricket Ground as he struck an unbeaten half-century to put Australia in charge at the close of the opening day.
Under some pressure after a modest home summer, Smith thwarted a largely disciplined New Zealand attack to thrill a festive crowd of nearly 80,000 at a venue where he now averages a stratospheric 148.83 from his seven matches.
The former skipper was 77 not out at stumps, with middle order batsman Travis Head on 25. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and sent Tim Paine’s side in to bat on a grassy pitch under an overcast sky and was duly rewarded with a wicket after four balls when recalled paceman Trent Boult bowled Joe Burns for a duck.
But the clouds parted and the tourists managed only three more scalps for the rest of the day as the sun beat down on a much-scrutinised drop-in wicket.
((With agency inputs))