Smith & spirit of the game

Calcutta/Port Elizabeth: Australia captain Steve Smith has confirmed that his side will be unchanged for the second Test in Port Elizabeth, starting on Friday.

According to cricket.com.au, it will be for the third straight Test that Australia will field the same line-up, one that is undefeated.

“I pulled the guys together this morning, just the playing group and said ‘let’s not let these incidents overshadow the way we played and get in the way of the way we want to play in this series’,” Smith was quoted as saying, in a reference to the David Warner-Quinton de Kock row.

“It’s about continuing to play a good, hard aggressive brand, but knowing we don’t want to cross the line, we want to stay within the spirit of the game and let cricket be the main thing on show.”

Smith also said that the buck stops with him and he takes responsibility for the actions of his players. “As captain you take responsibility of your team , so I do take responsibility for that.

“Whether I could have done anything to change the events of what happened in the last Test, I’m not sure, but I do take responsibility.”

Smith and his counterpart Faf du Plessis sat down with Match Referee Jeff Crowe on Thursday to ensure the action on and off the field is played within the spirit of the game.

Smith said the meeting with Du Plessis was positive and called on the umpires to take a greater role in calming tensions on the pitch.

“It was nice to have a chat and ensure that we’re playing within the spirit of the game and that cricket is what is written and talked about after this game,” Smith said.

“It’s been all about indiscretions in the last fixture and that’s not what we want for the game. Cricket has got to be the winner. If they (the umpires) hear something going on they should go to either Faf or myself and make sure we have our troops in line and playing within the guidelines.”


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