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Smith submissive is unsatisfactory for England failure




An unusually quiet streak by Steve Smith counts for nothing in the mind of express paceman Mark Wood, given England’s inability to win this summer.

Smith won man of the series honors in the 2017-18 and 2019 Ashes, demoralizing England as he compiled a combined tally of 1,461 races.

The ex-skipper’s exit in his last six tests has been relatively modest at 217 races at 36.2.

“We were beaten. It would be a moral victory if he came out and we won, ”Wood said on the eve of the fifth test.

“We still don’t take them out.

“He might not have a hundred, but getting 90, 50, 60 or 70 is vital in the game.

“He always contributes to their team’s victory.

“Right now we’re not winning, so it’s important to turn the tide.”

Wood has been England’s most impressive bowler on this tour, having recently had the wood on Marnus Labuschagne.

Wood has knocked out Labuschagne three times on 22 balls since the right-hander became the world’s No.1 hitter, finding an advantage at every opportunity.

“Marnus is a hell of a player so I’m happy to bring out the best players like him,” Wood said of the series leading scorer.

“He’s a guy we definitely know we have to try to capitalize on the first 20 balls in his innings, really put him under pressure.

“Because if he enters, he does a lot of damage. “

England have yet to decide whether Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow, who suffered a side and thumb injury respectively, will play in the series final in Hobart.

Wood urged Stokes and Bairstow to make the right choice for the team, admitting it was something he hadn’t always done early in an injury-plagued career.

“They are in a good mood,” said Wood.

“These are two characters who don’t give up easily.

“We’ll just have to see.

“I’m sure they won’t want to step into the game unless they are sure they can deliver what they need.

“I’ve been there myself, where you’ve played and you’re not doing yourself or the team justice.”

© AAP




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