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Controversy hits Australia - Steve Smith accused of favouritism by Rodney Hogg

Steve Smith, Australian cricket team captain, is under fire after yet another series defeat to Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team in India.

india vs australia 2017 Updated: Sep 27, 2017 20:57 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
India vs Australia,Steve Smith,Australian cricket team
Steve Smith-led Australian cricket team has already lost the ongoing ODI series against Indian cricket team.(AFP)

Former cricketer Rodney Hogg has criticised Australian cricket team captain Steven Smith, saying he cannot pick his ‘mates’ in the national side. Hogg’s criticism comes in the wake of Australia’s yet another overseas series defeat in ODI cricket.

Australia last won an ODI against a lowly Ireland in 2016, and since then they have lost as many as 11 out of 13 matches overseas. Two of the other games were washed out.

READ | Australia cricket team skipper Steve Smith laments ‘ordinary’ record in 2017

The reigning ‘world champions’ have already lost their ongoing five-match series to India 0-3, and face the danger of yet another whitewash as their batsmen are struggling once again in India.

Australia had earlier lost the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy to New Zealand 0-2, and before that South Africa had blanked them 0-5 in their backyard.

“They’re picking their mates. Smith shouldn’t be a selector. (Ashton) Agar’s been pushed through and (Hilton) Cartwright’s still there. We saw (Nic) Maddinson get selected (he’s) a mate, he’s one of Steve Smith’s mates,” Hogg was quoted as saying by news.com.au.

READ | Steve Smith hails Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar as best death-over bowlers

“You can’t pick bloody mates! We’ve got to get fair dinkum. We’re really off the ball a bit here ... I think the captain’s getting his own way,” Hogg added.

Earlier this year during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, former South Australia and Victoria First-Class wicketkeeper-batsman Darren Berry had questioned Smith’s role as a selector. His comments had come after Moises Henriques was promoted to bat at No 4 in the tournament.

“I don’t think the Australian captain is a selector, he’s certainly consulted but it appears the Australian captain is picking the team. Because no one else would be batting Moises Henriques at number four in the Australian one-day team,” Berry had said.

Meanwhile, Hogg has also raised finger on the non-selection of spinner Jon Holland, who played two Tests in Sri Lanka last year. “He’s the bloke you’ve got to be trying,” Hogg said.

READ | Crestfallen Steve Smith says Australia ‘panicking’ under pressure

Hogg, however, rejected the idea of including Nathan Lyon — Australia’s most successful off-spinner in Test history — into the one-day team. Hogg said, “He’s a superstar Test cricketer. But when he plays (limited-overs) he gets a bit slogged, he hasn’t got a lot of tricks.”

He added that Cricket Australia (CA) has to answer on what has gone wrong. “All the way down, there’s got to be question mark. All the way across Cricket Australia,” Hogg concluded.

India and Australia will clash in the fourth ODI on Thursday, to be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

First Published: Sep 27, 2017 11:43 IST