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Smith's form masks Australia's batting cracks

Steve Smith

The Oval, September 14: Australia star Steve Smith, who accepted he was tricked by Jonny Bairstow during day two of the fifth Ashes Test against England continues to mask the visitors' chronic batting failures.

Bairstow fooled Smith into diving to make his ground, pretending he was about to receive a throw as Jofra Archer took the ball at the bowler's end.

Smith, whose fine series continued as he made 80 and Australia were bowled out for 225 in response to England's 294, said Bairstow had tricked him.

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"He got me there, didn't he? Dirtied my clothes. He didn't say anything I don't think, but he got me," the star batsman told a news conference.

"I didn't know where the ball was, bloody thing, he faked it. He got me, I don't know what else to say."

Smith revealed he battled the flu on Friday as Australia were left with a 69-run first-innings deficit.

The lone half-century of the innings was another reminder of Australia's chronic batting failures and desperate dependence on their former captain.

Barring a 48 from Marnus Labuschagne, the only supporting actor behind Smith's virtuoso series, Australia's recognised batsmen failed to surpass 19 runs.

The series has raised uncomfortable questions for selectors before the home summer against Pakistan and New Zealand, with only Smith and Labuschagne cementing their claims in the batting order.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Saturday, September 14, 2019, 7:40 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 14, 2019
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