India vs Australia: ‘Smith hasn’t been in a good mental space’ – former Australian captain decodes Smith’s rough patch against India

Hindustan Times, New Delhi |
Jan 02, 2021 06:23 PM IST

Former Australian captain Kim Huges stated that being away from his family has taken a mental toll on Steve Smith. He further opined that the latter will bounce back soon.

Steve Smith’s unimpressive batting against India in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar trophy has caused quite a stir in the Australian cricket fraternity. Former Australian captain Kim Hughes feels that Smith hasn’t been in a good mental space because of being away from his family for more than four months now.

File photo of Australian batsman Steve Smith(AP)
File photo of Australian batsman Steve Smith(AP)

Smith struggled against the Indian bowling attack in the first two Tests of the 4-match series. He is yet to score in double figures after batting in four innings so far. Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had him twice while Bumrah took him down on one occasion.

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Speaking to the Times of India, Huges stated that distance form his family has taken a mental toll on Smith but, he believes that the latter will bounce back soon.

“Look, Smith is a world-class player but hasn’t looked like it in the Test series. He has been away from his wife Dani for over four-and-a-half months due to cricket and the quarantine restrictions. Smith hasn’t been in a good space --- away from his partner. I expect him to do well in Sydney. Smith just needs to spend some time in the middle and the runs will come automatically,” said Hughes.

Steve Smith, who had the highest batting average for an Australian batsman in 2019, has been Australia’s dependable batsman in the last couple of years. However, his sudden downfall has become a major concern for the entire team.

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Huges also spoke about how the Indians turned the tables in Melbourne after suffering a horrendous batting collapse in Adelaide. The former Aussie skipper opined that Tim Paine’s decision at the toss made the hosts pay a huge price.

“We missed a golden opportunity to go 2-0 up in the series. India would have been fragile after their collapse in Adelaide and with our three pacers on that Melbourne wicket, things would have been difficult for them. I was extremely surprised when we elected to bat first,” Hughes said.

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