|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
January 15, 2006
"Smith has shown he wants to be aggressive, but I would like this to be more with his bat and less with his mouth," Simpson said in his column in Indian magazine Sports Star.
"His bid to boost the confidence of his team with ill-advised words is not working and will not work. All of his time should be spent getting the most out of his players and himself. At present his mind is wandering too much ... to be out four times in a row to tactics devised to get him in such a manner is not acceptable and shows to me a mind that is not relaxed and concentrating on every ball."
Although Smith fell for 12 on Sunday, he did lead his team to an excellent victory despite the best efforts of Australia's fieldsmen. Andrew Symonds completed a slick run-out, and Michael Hussey sprinted about 15 metres to take an outstanding diving catch that nearly turned the game Australia's way. The South African fielding has also annoyed Simpson, who described it as "just terrible".
"Their ground fielding has lacked security and concentration and enthusiasm," he said. "This is a comparatively young team and I am amazed at the number of simple errors that are being made and the lack of pride being expressed.
"History, and I am sure the modern computer, would show that first slip takes the most catches followed by the second and the third slips. Yet, because other countries are using spread slips, though without much or perhaps any success, Smith is being influenced by it without understanding the law of averages. I don't know who is helping the South Africans with their fielding, but whoever is doing so should examine why so many catches are being spilt."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena
The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test