Australia v New Zealand Tests
That was a pretty big error: Smith
The Australia skipper discusses two of the biggest talking points from the day-night Test in Adelaide
4 December 2015, 08:18 PM AEST
Captain Steve Smith has expressed his surprise at the reprieve handed to Nathan Lyon during the third Test against New Zealand, an incident that proved to be critical to Australia's victory.
On day two of the historic day-night Test, New Zealand were convinced that Lyon was out caught after the batsman's top-edged sweep shot ballooned off his shoulder to Kane Williamson at second slip, but standing umpire S Ravi ruled that bat didn’t make contact with ball.
Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum immediately asked for a review and was shocked when third umpire Nigel Llong upheld the on-field decision despite evidence on Hot Spot showing a mark on Lyon's bat.
Lyon at centre of DRS controversy
The ICC later ruled that while Llong followed the correct protocol, he made an incorrect judgement and Smith agreed that a mistake was made.
"I think it probably was out, yeah," he told Channel Nine.
"We saw it pretty clearly on the big screen and (Lyon) started walking off so I think that was a pretty big error."
Australia were 8-116 at the time of the controversial decision, trailing by 86 runs on the first innings, with Lyon still yet to score and only an injured Mitchell Starc left to bat.
Lyon went on to score 34 and Starc, on one foot, clubbed 24 off 15 balls to give Australia a crucial 22-run first-innings lead.
Meanwhile, Smith said it was his decision to use team masseur Grant Baldwin as a substitute fielder after Starc suffered a foot injury during the match.
With 12th man James Pattinson in Perth on Sheffield Shield duty and South Australia’s players in Tasmania, the Australians were offered the services of three local club cricketers to replace Starc in the field.
But Smith said he preferred to use Baldwin - himself a talented athlete - instead of local players Daniel Drew, Michael Cormack and Luke Robbins.
"Grant's been around the team for a long time," he said.
"He works with us and he's played second XI cricket for Victoria, so he's no mug.
"From my point of view I wasn't happy with the fielders we got provided to come and fill in."