Mitchell Starc admitted Australia’s fast bowlers were not consulted by captain Steve Smith about his decision to spare England the follow-on with twilight approaching on the third day.
Australia led by 215 after knocking England over for 227, with Starc taking three for 49. But Smith chose to bat again — and was trapped leg-before by Chris Woakes for six as the hosts closed on 53 for four.
‘It was purely up to Smithy,’ said Starc. ‘There’s pros and cons to both decisions. The bowlers will have some extra time to freshen up and hopefully knock them over.
Mitchell Starc admitted Australia bowlers were not consulted Steve Smith about the follow-on
Smith made the decision to bat again with Australia beginning their innings 215 in front
‘We didn’t discuss it, but that’s why he’s captain: he makes the decisions.
‘We had a tough session with the bat, but there’s a lot of cricket to go.
‘There’s no reason why we can’t have England on the ropes in the night session.’
Smith may have been motivated by the fact that England’s first innings eventually stretched to 76 overs, and Australia need to manage their four-man attack across this five-match series.
But it meant the Australians had to bat under lights against the swinging ball, leaving Jimmy Anderson and Woakes to collect two wickets each before the stumps.
‘It was important for us to try to push back at Australia,’ said Woakes. ‘The way we did that in the evening session was a positive for us as a side, to believe we can put Australia under pressure.’
It didn’t work out too well for Smith, however, who was dismissed lbw by Chris Woakes for six