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Aussie skipper Smith fumes over ‘mates pick’ claims

SYDNEY: Australia skipper Steve Smith on Friday rubbished claims he favours his "mates" as selection looms for the highly anticipated Ashes Test series with England. Smith is not part of Australia's three-man selection panel, but he has been assailed by former players who believe he gets too much say in Australia's lineups. The captain hit back strongly at a media conference in Sydney, calling suggestions of favouritism "absolute garbage". "I'm not a selector, but I certainly speak to the selectors a lot and express…

Australia’s batting fragility worries skipper Smith

DHAKA: Australia must address their tendency to collapse before this year’s Ashes series against England, skipper Steve Smith said after his team levelled their two-test series against Bangladesh on Thursday. Humbled inside four days in the series opener in Dhaka, Australia romped to a seven-wicket victory in Chittagong, but not before another mini-collapse in their chase of a paltry 86-run victory target. Openers David Warner and Matt Renshaw, as well as Smith, perished before Australia reached 50, though Glenn…

Smith rues ‘brain fade’, enjoys Kohli ‘banter’

Australia skipper Steve Smith described his decision Tuesday to look for guidance from the dressing room after being dismissed in his side’s 75-run defeat to India as a “brain fade”. The Aussie batsman also said repeated exchanges of words with his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli during the tempestuous second Test in Bangalore were just “a bit of banter”. Smith’s lbw dismissal to Umesh Yadav was a major setback to Australia’s 188-run chase, with the hosts eventually bundling the visitors for only 112 in the final…

Stolen win can give rebuilding Australia belief: Smith

MELBOURNE: Australia captain Steve Smith believes the unlikely victory over Pakistan in the second test on Friday can galvanise his team as they brace for stiffer challenges against India at the end of the home summer. With rain reducing the test to a final day shootout, Australia ran through Pakistan for 163 inside 54 overs to close out an innings and 18-run win in the final session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The win gave Australia an unassailable 2-0 series lead, with the third test in Sydney next week, and a…