Steve Smith gets a say in selections, but it’s not final

2 Have your say

    Steve Smith will serve more as consultant than commander at Wednesday’s selection meeting that will decide Australia’s XI for the Ashes opener.

    Smith, who recently hit back at accusations he was making captain’s calls and picking his mates in the side as “absolute garbage”, will soon learn his XI for the first Test that starts on Thursday week.

    Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns’ panel will meet late on Wednesday afternoon in Brisbane.

    The exact time of the discussion is unclear but it quite possibly will unfold before stumps are pulled at Allan Border Field, where Smith is leading NSW in their Sheffield Shield clash with Queensland.

    Smith will have already made his thoughts clear regarding the three contentious calls facing the panel.

    But the classy right-hander’s opinion will be one of many bubbling around the panel that also features Hohns, Greg Chappell, Mark Waugh plus coach Darren Lehmann.

    “He has his say. I’ve spoken to him, when I was in India … general chit chat. You speak to him,” Waugh told reporters at Triple M’s season launch in Sydney.

    “I’m sure he would’ve spoken to Trevor at length and I know Darren has spoken to him.

    “He would’ve certainly got his thoughts across on his preferred team.

    “You’ve got to respect the captain and his thoughts … (but) the selectors are there to pick the team and take into account his thoughts.”

    Smith’s predecessor as captain Michael Clarke was initially made a selector – as per the Argus review recommendations – but later stripped of that responsibility in the shake-up that followed Mickey Arthur’s sacking in 2013.

    Lehmann and Smith have both made it clear that two spots are up for grabs in the XI.

    Hilton Cartwright is the frontrunner to bat at No.6, while former Test keeper Peter Nevill is favoured to reclaim the gloves from Matthew Wade.

    There is also plenty of speculation that Matthew Renshaw could be axed, although Waugh backed the incumbent opener to find form against England.

    Test great Justin Langer, now coaching Western Australia, recently suggested Renshaw was under pressure.

    Waugh noted it’s one of many opinions to be shared regarding the selection conundrums.

    “Justin Langer would have eleven West Australians in the team if he had the choice,” he quipped.

    “It’s not going to make any difference to the selectors. You’ll pick the team on who you think should be there, not on who the (WA) coach thinks.”

    © AAP 2017