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I would tell Steve, if you have the skill level you’re still going to win: Steve Waugh

Steve Smith
Steve Smith. (© Getty Images)

Former Australian Test captain Steve Waugh had a very strong message for advised current Australian skipper Steve Smith. Waugh feels that the Aussies must not get bogged down by the day-night Test debate.

Waugh, who won 41 of the 57 Tests he led Australia in until his retirement in 2004, says mentally tougher team invariably wins matches regardless of the conditions. Steven Smith had appealed for the next Ashes series in Australia to not include a pink-ball day-night Test.

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“I don’t think he’s made too many mistakes since he’s taken over the captaincy. “It’s been a huge learning curve but he also has the challenge of captaining three different forms of the game, which very few captains do these days. Admittedly, the only question mark is mentally how much the last six months has taken [out of him],” Waugh told cricket.com.au.

“I think [the demands can] become mentally draining because of the challenges associated with [captaining three national teams] where you have three different groups of players coming in-and-out of the teams.

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“So, you need good people around you, you need good support from the coaches and from senior players. However, from what I’ve seen Steve seems to be handling the pressures very well.”

Waugh says, in the end, it is the best team which wins regardless of the ball and conditions.

“When you play, you get caught up with what’s going on … it might be the ball you’re using  or whether it is playing in a day-night Test,” said Waugh. “But when you finish up you go ‘it probably doesn’t really matter all that much because the best team is still going to win’. If you have the skills and you are mentally tough you’re going to do well in any conditions.

“I would tell Steve to just back yourself whatever you confront whether it is the pink ball or a day-night Test, if you have the skill level you’re still going to win. I think sometimes we make too much of a mistake [in worrying] that the conditions aren’t perfect but you realize ‘we just have to get on with it’.”

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