To enforce the follow-on or not? Steve Waugh’s infamous decision backfired in Kolkata 16 years ago, subsequent Australian captains have been gun shy to enforce the follow-on.
Since then, Australian skippers have treaded cautiously and only put the opposition back in 13 times – mostly when they were absolutely confident of the game’s situation.
Mitchell Starc, Australia’s spearhead, revealed Smith owned the decision. “It was purely up to Smithy,” he told reporters on Monday (December 4). “That’s why he is the captain. There are pros and cons to both decisions.
“We didn’t (consult as a team) tonight…it’s all up to Smithy,” he added.
Starc dismissed concern over the workload of Australia’s pacemen despite the team currently playing without an allrounder. “Whether it’s about four bowlers or not, the decision stays with him (Smith),” he said. “We are all feeling pretty good (the bowlers)… with a big lead on the board it makes everything a bit better. We will come out firing in the second innings.”
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