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Ashes 2021-22: Steve Smith’s Advice to Joe Root as England Trails 0-2

Australia’s stand-in skipper for the second Ashes Test Steve Smith on Monday had some words of wisdom for his English counterpart Joe Root, who is facing a challenge in his role as captain in the ongoing series. England are currently 0-2 down in the five-match Test series after the nine-wicket defeat in Brisbane and the latest 275-run thumping in Adelaide. Following the two consecutive defeats, the Three Lions captain is facing the heat for his decision-making.

However, despite the fact that Smith is just in charge of the team until Pat Cummins returns, he provided some comfort to his rival captain. During his captaincy stint, Smith was saddled with a similar burden – the strain of being one of the team’s best batters, as well as the obligation of inspiring them as a leader whenever the opportunity arises.

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Cricket Australia quoted Steve Smith as saying, “There’s always going to be critics out there that critique your performance as a captain.” He added, “I guess for him (Root), the best advice I could give is just trust yourself, and do everything you can to help your team grow and be as successful as you can be.”

Smith guided Australia to a 4-0 victory in the 2017-18 Ashes series, which was the last time the England side toured Down Under. Root was able to manage a 2-2 home series draw in 2019, however, that was just enough for Australia to be able to retain the urn. According to him, it is likely that the team can get outplayed by the opposition and there’s not a great deal the captain can do to change that. However, he reckoned that just reflecting or seeing can be done better is a far more vital characteristic of a player or a leader.

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Talking about Root’s contribution as a batter, Smith said, “He’s looked pretty good each time he’s come to the wicket (this series) to be fair, and to get him out when we did last night was huge.” He continued, “He’s a quality player and we’re going to have to keep pressure on him and keep bowling good balls consistently.”

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