Ashes 2019 has witnessed a mouth-watering start, with both England and Australia sweating it out hard to win the urn. The Kangaroos had defeated the hosts England in the first Test of the series, by a convincing margin of 256 runs, thanks to the ‘redemption man’ Steve Smith, to whose twin hundreds, England had no answers. In the second Test as well, Smith continued from where he had left the first Test.
The right-hander once again bailed his team out of trouble after they were reeling at 70-4. He along with skipper Tim Paine and Matthew Wade built small partnerships to keep the scorecard ticking. However, the thing which would have horrified all the cricketing fans around the globe was the Jofra Archer bouncer. The short ball, clocked at 92.4 miles per hour, smashed him just around the neck-jaw area, forcing him to pull out for concussion tests.
This incident was no less than a shock, not only for the Australian fans but everyone. Peter Siddle came out to replace him in the field but could manage only 9 runs. With Smith’s availability uncertain and Australia still trailing by 34 runs, one could have expected England to take a lead of 20+ runs. But to everyone’s astonishment, he came out to bat once again. He was welcomed with a round of applause from the same lot of fans, who booed him not a long time before.
‘Fans booing him aren’t cricket fans’
Unfortunately, there were still some fans who weren’t happy with Smith’s gutsy effort. Amidst the applause, there were some boos, which won’t have gone well on anyone. Mitchell Johnson severely criticized those gestures, saying as quoted by India Today, “You can boo him when he comes out to bat at the start of innings, but seeing him getting booed when he came back out after being struck by Archer, that was disappointing. The fans that booed Smith are not cricket fans according to me. One of the biggest disappointing things for me was the crowd, and I am not saying it was the whole crowd, but there were a couple of boos that you could hear through the microphone.”
He accepted that Smith had done wrong in the past, but admitted that it was wrong to boo him over the bravery he had shown. Meanwhile Smith, after arriving back, smashed 3 boundaries to take his personal score to 92 and bring the lead down to a mere 8 runs.
However, he has now been replaced by Marnus Labuschagne, the first-ever concussion substitute in the history of Test cricket. But the team needs him and everybody will hope that their best batsman recovers well on time.
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