England pace duo Stuart Broad and James Anderson 'got into the head' of Australia captain Steve Smith with their persistant verbals on Saturday, according to former Test paceman Jason Gillespie.
Smith went toe to toe first with Broad then his new-ball partner Anderson after the pair targeted the No.4 verbally on a fiery day opening day of the second Magellan Ashes Test that belied the unseasonably cold Adelaide temperature.
The Australia skipper was even more animated than normal – if that's possible – when he left the ball and had to be separated by umpire Aleem Dar when he confronted England's premier quicks before the dinner break.
While he survived during the height of the heated period, Smith fell for 40 twelve overs into the final session to debutant Craig Overton, 101 runs fewer than he scored in his match-winning innings in Brisbane a week ago.
Speaking on Optus Sports’ Stumps show, Gillespie said he felt England's tactic to upset Smith's concentration with constant sledging worked once the skipper bit back.
"They got into his head today,” Gillespie said. "I don't remember in the first Test when he got 141 not out, Steve Smith saying boo to anyone out in the middle and he batted for a long time.
"Out there (today) within 15 minutes he's having verbal stoushes, so there's obviously a game plan from England to try to unsettle the Australian captain and I think they succeeded to an extent because he was going back at them pretty hard."
Smith’s conqueror, Overton, said he didn’t know what was said between the world’s No.1-ranked Test batsman and England’s top two all-time leading wicket-takers, but it appeared to deliver the desired result.
"It looked like they got under his skin, but he still got 40," Overton said, who produced an off-cutter to castle Smith in the night session.
"It was nice to get him in the end. Just the way he left the ball, almost exaggerating a little bit.
"He didn’t do that in the first day at Brisbane. I don’t know if he was doing that to wind ourselves up a little bit."
Former Australia opener Chris Rogers said after play that Smith's absorbing battle between Broad and Anderson, both verbally and with the bat, might have played its part in his dismissal.
"As a batsman, I'm not sledging because I've so much to lose, it only takes one ball, but he has so much confidence he feels he can do that," Rogers said alongside Gillespie on Stumps.
"His wicket today, I think that was a lack of concentration for one split second. It was the first ball by Craig Overton in his spell and he might have just switched off for a second after he faced a really good spell from Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson.
"It was a good piece of bowling, it actually nipped back, but I think (Smith) might have just switched off for a second.
"You're on a hiding to nothing (as a batsman). One mistake and you're out and it looks like you're rattled. I don't necessarily think he was rattled, he just made a mistake but in hindsight it looks like he was.
"When you get into a sledging war with the bowlers you've got everything to lose as a batsman."
2017-18 International Fixtures
Magellan Ashes Series
Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers.
England Test squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson (vc), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.
First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard
Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Tickets
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Tickets
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Tickets
Gillette ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets
Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21