Steve Smith called out over 'selfish' move amid 10-year first in second cricket Test

The Aussie cricket star suffered an ugly fate not seen since 2014.

The Steve Smith opener experiment might be dead and buried after the Aussie cricket star suffered an extraordinary 10-year first on Sunday. Smith was trapped lbw by Matt Henry for just nine - his latest failure while batting at the top of the order.

It came after he was dismissed in the same fashion in the first innings for 11 when he failed to offer a shot to a delivery from Ben Sears that was shown to be coming back and clipping the stumps. The back-to-back lbw dismissals marked the first time since 2014 that Smith has been dismissed that way twice in one Test match.

Steve Smith, pictured here in the second Test between Australia and New Zealand.
Steve Smith wasted a review as he suffered two lbw dismissals in a Test for the first time since 2014. Image: Fox Cricket

While Smith is renowned for his incredible eye and ability to protect his stumps, both of those qualities appear to be failing him. The 34-year-old has been shown to be much more susceptible to the moving new ball if he hasn't quite gotten his eye in yet - a stark contrast to when he bats at No.4 and the ball isn't doing as much (theoretically).

Smith has made a career by moving in front of his stumps and using his incredible hand-eye coordination to ensure the ball rarely hits his pads. But with every new lbw dismissal, calls are growing louder and louder for the Aussies to end the opening experiment with Smith.

Steve Smith called out over 'selfish' decision to review

The former captain also copped backlash on Sunday for burning a review when it seemed like the lbw decision was quite obvious. Smith opted to use the DRS for both of his dismissals in Christchurch, and both times he got it wrong.

While some would argue that using one of three available reviews is always worth a gamble when the batter is someone of the quality of Smith, Adam White of SEN radio pointed out that you can't afford to burn them in the fourth innings while chasing a big total. The Aussies went to stumps at 4-77 after a shocking top order collapse, needing another 202 to win the Test match.

Matt Henry, pictured here after dismissing Steve Smith in the second Test between Australia and New Zealand.
Matt Henry celebrates after dismissing Steve Smith in the second Test between Australia and New Zealand.

"Reviews are so important in a fourth innings for the batting team as variable bounce and the pressure of a chase come into play," White wrote on social media. "You can’t just burn one because you missed the ball and you want to keep batting."

Others agreed, describing Smith's actions as "selfish". However some pointed out how close the ball was to striking Smith outside the line of off stump, meaning he probably thought a review was worth it.

Australia's shocking batting collapse in second cricket Test

Chasing 279 for victory, Australia were reduced to 4-34 as Henry and debutant Sears ripped through the tourists' top order at Hagley Oval. After taking 7-67 in the first innings, Henry was unplayable at times in a nine-over spell on Sunday.

The 32-year-old trapped Smith before having Usman Khawaja caught brilliantly by Tim Southee at third slip for 11. Sears had Marnus Labuschagne caught-and-bowled off a leading edge for six, two balls after Daryl Mitchell dropped a sharp chance at second slip.


Cameron Green played on for just five after being beaten by Sears' pace, before Mitch Marsh and Travis Head steadied the ship to get Australia to stumps. Coach Andrew McDonald said Australia have continually "underachieved with the bat, which has left games open".

He said: "It's probably more particularly in the third innings of games. We've had some chances in the third innings to really shut out the opponent and we've left the door ajar at times."

with AAP

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