Dependable skipper Smith falters in Dhaka

So often Australia’s saviour, Steve Smith showed that even he is fallible when he threw his wicket away at the worst possible time during the first Test against Bangladesh.


The visitors resumed on day two in Dhaka at 3-18 after David Warner, Usman Khawaja and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon were all dismissed within 10 balls in the previous day’s final session.

Australia badly needed a steady hand, and who better than Smith, who averaged an astonishing 71.28 during the tour of India earlier this year to cement his status as the world’s premier Test batsman.

Smith started the day looking confident, crunching a half-volley from Shafiul Islam through the covers for four in the second over.

But the following over he was gone for eight after charging down the pitch to a delivery from right-arm off-spinner Mehedi Hasan that went straight past the inside edge and hit leg stump.

It was an uncharacteristic dismissal for Smith, who has proven his ability to grind out big scores under pressure on the subcontinent.

With top-scorers Matt Renshaw (45) and Peter Handscomb (33) both unable to go on after promising starts, the Australians will look to Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade to rebuild their innings after reaching 6-123 at lunch.

Australian coach Darren Lehmann spoke ahead of the Test of the importance of his batsmen sacrificing their egos for the good of the team.

“At times, you’ve certainly got to put your ego away with the bat and go slowly, if that makes sense,” Lehmann told FiveAA radio.

“We’re still looking to score but sometimes the game goes slowly and sometimes it goes quickly.

“We’ve just got to really be able to oscillate between those speeds of the game.”