Smith still grappling for 'Aussie identity'

Steve Smith (Getty Images)
Steve Smith (Getty Images)

Perth - Australian captain Steve Smith called for a “more aggressive approach” from his players after their humiliating 3-0 test series loss in Sri Lanka and was rewarded with a stream of inane, embarrassing sledging episodes from several of his players as they slumped to a 5-0 ODI whitewash in South Africa.

According to the website, ODI wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was especially childish maintaining a stream of jibber no matter how far his team were behind.

Once again, Smith was asked to define what he meant by ‘aggressive’ before the first test against South Africa at the WACA ground in Perth on Tuesday.

Smith was reminded that former captain and legendary ‘hard man’ Steve Waugh had described him as being ‘soft’ but rather than defend himself, the current skipper agreed.

“I’ve actually come out and said that myself. That’s what I’m after from the team, and it’s not necessarily about sledging or anything like that,” Smith said.

“It’s about making sure that each individual can get the best out of themselves and have a presence about them,” Smith said, not making himself entirely clear.

“Everyone does it differently, for someone it might be about getting into a verbal contest with a bowler to get themselves going, or with a batter as a bowler. For me I don’t like to say a great deal, it’s more about making sure that my body language is right and I’m puffing my chest out and looking like I own the place,” Smith said.

“It’s about each individual knowing what gets them going, and when they do that it’s going to be best for the team. I’ve been working on that and hopefully we can see some good presence from the Australian team this summer.”

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis wasn’t having any of it. “I’m not changing my line,” he said on Wednesday.

“I think we’re similar captains and it’s about having respect for each other and for our teams, and sticking to the cricket. If somebody wants to say something, that’s fine, but it’s not about the talk.”

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