The guys played well and controlled the game after the first day, says Smith

Adelaide: Following Australia’s 275-run victory over England on Monday, stand-in skipper Steve Smith lavished praise on his side, saying the hosts played well and were in control of the game after the first day of second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval.

He added that his team was calm when the visitors showed resistance as they knew a couple of good balls would be enough to secure a win. Australia took the remaining six wickets on day five to seal a thumping win and go 2-0 up in the series.

“I wasn’t nervous. I think Jos (Buttler) played very well, and played over 200 balls, so it was good resistance along with Woakes and Robbo (Robinson). We wanted to stay calm because it would take a couple of good balls and a couple of wickets to get the win. I did enjoy captaincy and the guys played well and controlled the game after the first day,” said Smith in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Smith signalled out left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc for doing well in the Adelaide Test in the absence of frontline seamers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. “Davey (Warner) and Marnus’s partnership set it up, so we could control the game. A special mention to Starc, who has bowled as well as he’s bowled in a long time, and he led the attack really well. I think he summed it up quickly that it wasn’t swinging and he was just hitting a good length and attacking the batters.”

Smith revealed that they were trying to manage the bowling workload of all-rounder Cameron Green on day five. “The guys in there said Cam Green shouldn’t bowl at all today, because his workload needs to be managed. Ideally he shouldn’t have bowled today, but we needed him to bowl because of how good he has been.”

The 32-year-old signed off by saying that he doesn’t know whether Hazlewood has recovered from the side strain he sustained during the first Test at Brisbane and trusts opener Marcus Harris to do well in Melbourne. “I have no idea about Josh Hazlewood (availability for the next game), but Harris is batting well in the nets, so he needs to not overthink it and trust the process and he can turn it around.”

“The COVID protocols are level 4 or 3 right now, and thankfully we’ve been able to entertain people with cricket in this difficult period. We’ll go about our business as well as we can.”

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