Steve Smith hits out at Matthew Hayden over Peter Handscomb’s ‘un-Australian’ criticism

Hayden’s words had followed Ravinchandran Ashwin’s dismissal of Handscomb, the first of six wickets to fall for 11 runs to round out Australia’s first innings. The Tourists went on to run down a fourth innings goal of 76 for the win.


“He was very, very defensive with his mindset,” Hayden said in a comment for Star. “His under-20 batting average means you’re going nowhere and the scoreboard is going nowhere, and that’s a product of some really hard hitting conditions… he was like a sitting duck in a lot of ways.

“It’s almost un-Australian. I don’t want anyone out there to think that I’m overly critical of Pete, I’m not. It’s just not quite attacking enough. It’s such a tricky balance.”

Earlier in the tour, Hayden had said he was ready to help the Australia side as a batting mentor, but there remain a range of views within the camp about the ‘greatest generation’, the way they played their cricket and how they have criticized it current page.


Some players, like Alex Carey or Nathan Lyon, have had an open dialogue with some of these players to seek advice. But there’s a shared determination for the contemporary unit to play the game in a way that suits their skills and personalities.

Smith had previously called “startling” the suggestion that the Australians should have played three quicks and a spin bowler on the surfaces used for the first three Tests, reflecting their formula on home soil.

“It was weird with some comments at home, people talking about us playing three quicks and a spinner,” Smith said. “It’s kind of amazing to me when we look at these surfaces and see what we had.

“It was 11 innings in six days or something like that and spinners took the majority of the wickets and you see how difficult it is to play the spin. It’s kind of weird hearing that kind of comment, but we believed in what we’re trying to do and it’s good that we can show that we can play with three weirdos and win.” Steve Smith hits out at Matthew Hayden over Peter Handscomb’s ‘un-Australian’ criticism

Ryan Sederquist

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