Smith ‘hurt­ing’ after se­ries de­feat

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Steve Smith was hurt and em­bar­rassed after an­other hu­mil­i­at­ing loss as Aus­tralia’s Test cricket cap­tain – and he didn’t want to dis­guise the depths of the prob­lems. “It’s a bit of a low point for my­self and for Aus­tralian cricket,” said Smith after Aus­tralia lost a fifth con­sec­u­tive Test un­der his cap­taincy. Smith was un­beaten in his first 11 Tests as cap­tain, help­ing lift the team to the No. 1 rank­ing in Fe­bru­ary. Now Aus­tralia are on the brink of an un­prece­dented white­wash in a Test se­ries on home soil. While the South Africans cel­e­brated clinch­ing the three-Test se­ries with a match to spare fol­low­ing the in­nings and 80-run vic­tory in Hobart, Smith was left try­ing to ex­plain how his team had sur­ren­dered back-to-back se­ries in Sri Lanka and at home. “I am hurt­ing. It’s an­other dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance,” Smith said. “An­other big col­lapse, it’s not good enough. I’m quite sick of say­ing it – it has hap­pened five Tests in a row now. “For an Aus­tralian cricket team, that’s hu­mil­i­at­ing. I’m em­bar­rassed to be sit­ting here in this po­si­tion.” Aus­tralia were swept 3-0 in a Test se­ries in Sri Lanka in July and Au­gust and then beaten 5-0 in a lim­ited-overs se­ries in South Africa be­fore re­turn­ing for the start of the south­ern sum­mer.

THINK­ING CAP ON: Steve Smith must find a so­lu­tion to fix his team’s and his own slide in form

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