Australian skipper Steven Smith admitted that he had to take a sleeping pill in order to sleep before Day 5 of the Adelaide Test. Australia managed to win the second Test by a comfortable margin of 120 runs but things were not the same when both the teams left the field on Day 4. England were 4 for 176 with 178 runs more needed to win the match. With Joe Root on the crease, any result seemed to possible. However, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon bowled brilliantly in the first session of Day 5 and ended the innings in just one session.
Smith had a lot going in his mind as he revealed in the post-match press conference about what he had to do one night before Day 5’s play.
I had to have a sleeping pill last night. It has been a pretty tough 24 hours if I’m being honest. It’s all part of being captain of your country. You have to make difficult decisions and sometimes you’re going to make the wrong decision.
Smith admitted his mistake and felt there is a need to reevaluate after the second taste.
I’ll think back and reflect over the next day or so and think what I could have perhaps done differently and could have done better, and areas that I can continue to improve in my leadership.
The Australian skipper also explained why he chose not to enforce a follow-on after bundling out England in the first innings.
I guess my rationale was that we’re 215 runs in front of the game, if we bat reasonably well then we should be getting up over 400. All we needed is one good partnership and the game is dead and buried. We didn’t get that partnership. Over the last day or so I have had a few different thoughts and I’ve read a lot of things but in the end we won the game so it’s all irrelevant.
Here’s the video of the press conference:
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) December 6, 2017
He lauded his bowlers as well who turned the game in just one session.
We know it’s a long summer and I think the bowlers we’ve got are very valuable.
Smith falsified England veteran bowler James Anderson’s claim that sledging got the better of him in this Test.
I think the opposite. I think they switched me on to be perfectly honest. I think when it got me in my little bubble. I have my little idiosyncrasies. It got me going. They can think what they like but from my point of view it got me going.
Australia have taken a lead of 2-0 in the five-Test series. If they manage to win the Perth Test, then Australia will win back the Ashes Trophy and seal the series by 3-0.