Josh Hazlewood has lifted the lid on the biggest downfall of not having Steve Smith and David Warner in the dressing room.
In the absence of Smith and Warner, the Australian batting line-up has often crumbled under pressure, and Hazlewood says the side’s young batsmen are missing the guidance of the banned duo.
Hazlewood said advice from coaches cannot teach young batsmen everything and the presence of the experienced duo, banned for a year for involvement in the ball-tampering scandal during a Test series against South Africa, could have made a huge difference.
After losing to India 1-2, Australia recently whitewashed Sri Lanka 2-0 at home.
“It’s just so important to have those couple of senior guys when you bring those couple of young guys into the top six to learn from,” Hazlewood told ESPN cricinfo on Tuesday.
“It’s probably been the first time when you’ve had the top six with no real senior batsmen to feed off, I guess, around training and games, so they [the newcomers] have had to do all their learning from the coaches.
“You just can’t teach some things as coaches, you have to learn out in the middle batting with a senior person, so I think the other young batters will really feed off having them back.
“The likes of Marcus Harris, Travis Head and Marcus Labuschagne, all new batsmen in the Test side, suffered for the lack of guidance at the other end from players who had found ways to be consistently high scorers at the Test level.”
Appreciating Smith’s consistency, Hazlewood said bowlers can relax knowing Steve (Smith) is batting at the crease.
“Every time Steve goes out to bat, he pretty much gets a hundred these days. Thus the time with the feet up is pretty important (for the fast bowlers),” he said.
The suspension period of Smith and Warner is set to end on March 28.
They are likely to make a comeback to the national team for the 50-over World Cup and the Ashes.