“Nearly Vomited”: Ex-Australia Captain On Steve Smith’s Elevation As Test Opener

Former Australia captain Kim Hughes has hit out at the team management for elevating star batter Steve Smith to the opener’s role following David Warner‘s Test retirement. Warner played his last Test earlier this month against Pakistan in Sydney as Australia swept the series 3-0. While Western Australia’s Cameron Bancroft made a strong case for himself to replace Warner, the Australian team management announced that Smith will be opening the innings with Usman Khawaja, starting with a two-match series against West Indies later this week.

On Smith’s elevation as opener, Hughes revealed that he almost “vomited” upon hearing the latest development. The former Aussie skipper took shots at the selection committee for ignoring Bancroft, who is in the form of his life,” Hughes told WA Sports Talk, as quoted by Sports ABC.

“I nearly vomited. I’ve got no doubts in my mind that if Cameron Bancroft played for New South Wales, he’d be in the Test side. He is in his prime.”

Earlier, despite calling Smith a superstar, Hughes feels the batter has struggled in recent times, and should stick to his normal batting order — No. 4.

“Touch this, do this, do that [imitates Smith]… never want to leave when I am given out. He’s like a petulant kid. Smith is struggling at the moment. He’s been an absolute superstar, but as an opener, he is no more opener than me opening the bowling. He needs to stay at No.4, get his mojo back if you like, without all the fluff,” he had told 10 News First.

Hughes also highlighted the importance of rewarding players performing in Sheffield Shield — Australia’s premiere four-day red-ball tournament.

“I think the other, and a very important thing is, you must reward those that are performing well, and our Sheffield Shield competition – yes it is not as strong as it used to be when he had our Test players playing in it – it is still the competition from which you can have a look and see who is playing well. I just think get Bancroft in there, it also sends a message to the Shield players that if you perform, you’ll get picked. You may as well go and play marbles – it would be just shattering,” he added.

Bancroft was the leading run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield last season with 512 runs in six matches, averaging more than 56.

He and Smith were penalised alongside Warner in 2018 for player their part in a ball-tampering scandal.

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