Steve Smith, who is leading Australia in the third Test against India at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, shone for his leadership skills as the visitors dominated the first session of Day 1.
A clinical bowling performance from Australia put the visitors in the driving seat. The hosts struggled at 84/7 after 26 overs. Spinners Mathew Kuhnemann and Nathan Lyon scalped three wickets each, while Todd Murphy took the prized wicket of Virat Kohli.
Fans hailed Steve Smith’s captaincy as he ensured Australia were on top with attacking field placements and for picking the right bowlers to dominate India.
Some pointed towards his aggressive mindset for the use of pacers to prevent Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel from scoring easy runs.
For the uninitiated, India’s tail wagged in the last two Tests under Pat Cummins’ captaincy. The regular skipper is currently in Sydney due to his mother’s ill health.
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Steve Smith’s exceptional record as Test captain
Since being named Pat Cummins’ deputy, Steve Smith has won both Tests as captain. The 33-year-old guided Australia to a 275-run victory against England in the Ashes 2021-22. He then helped the Aussies beat West Indies by 419 runs in a day-night Test last year.
Smith will now look to register a hat-trick of wins by helping the visitors fight back in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
So far, Smith has led Australia in 37 Tests, with 20 wins and 10 losses. He was removed as regular captain following the infamous Sandpaper scandal incident against South Africa after the third Test at Newlands in Cape Town in 2018.
Meanwhile, Pat Cummins has led Australia in 15 Tests, guiding Australia to eight wins, with four games ending in a draw. The Aussies are table toppers in the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) cycle under his leadership, with series wins against England, Pakistan, the West Indies, and South Africa.