Former Test greats Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting have blasted Steve Smith following the brain explosion on the stroke of the tea interval that cost him his wicket.
Australia were given a solid start as they chipped away at England’s 331-run lead by openers David Warner and Chris Rogers who put on 113 for the opening wicket of the second innings on day two at Trent Bridge.
Warner (64) and Rogers (52) fell to Ben Stokes after a fine spell of swing bowling by the allrounder, who then had Shaun Marsh caught in the slips for two.
But it was the wicket of the world’s No.1 rated batsman that left the home side jubilant after he couldn’t resist playing at a full and wide delivery from Stuart Broad and sliced the ball straight to Stokes at mid-point.
“It’s a lack of awareness, that was just horrific. It was a one-day wide just before tea,” Warne said on Sky Sports.
“It’s not good enough. You just let that through to the keeper.
“I cannot believe a guy would play that shot – and you’re ranked the No.1 batsman in the world.”
Ponting said England had set a trap to tempt Smith and said the vice-captain walked straight into it.
“I’m sure they’d be disappointed with that,” Ponting said.
“They basically telegraphed how they were going to bowl to him.
“They pitched the ball up wide of off stump. He got one boundary away, tried to go again but unfortunately hit it straight to the fielder.”
Warner, who was dropped twice and survived a testing over from Broad before lunch was once again dismissed due to a mistimed pull shot off Stokes – the same stroke that led to his demise at Edgbaston last week.
“He had three or four chances … he was out the same way at Edgbaston,” Warne said.
Adam Voges was of the few bright spots on another tough day at the office for the tourists.
Under huge pressure to keep his spot following a succession of low scores, the 35-year-old was unbeaten on 48 at the close – the highest score of the series for an Australian batting between four and six.