Proteas great Richards slams Smith for not having any Plan B during Gabba Test

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 17, 2012 10:10 hrs

South Africa batting great Barry Richards has slammed Test captain Graeme Smith for his failing to come up with a Plan B once his strike fast bowlers started faltering against the Australian counter attack led by Michael Clarke and Ed Cowan during the drawn Gabba Test.

Richards said Smith failed to come up with answers when the Proteas' much-vaunted pace attack failed to finish off the Australians, who powered to 5-565(dec) after teetering at 3-40 in the first Test.

"Graeme Smith, if he went away and looked in the mirror, he would have thought I did most things, right but the guys didn't bowl as well as they should have. That's the bottom line," quoted Richards, as saying to an Australian newspaper.

"Looking back, we were quite harsh on the Aussie bowlers (in Brisbane). South Africa simply didn't have a Plan B when it was flat and doing nothing. It was like, 'Where do we go from here' and it caught them on the hop," he added.

"Graeme, I'm afraid, was a bit let down by the bowlers. I don't think the bowlers performed as well as they could have and nothing is harder than captaining a side when the bowlers are bowling too straight and keep getting worked off the pads," he said.

Richards added: "When they were confronted with a wicket that didn't do anything, they didn't have Plan B to fall back on ... those are the lessons South Africa can learn from the Gabba."

Richards also questioned Smith's field placements and inability to contain Australia when Clarke and Cowan turned the tide.

"I don't want to sound negative, but they don't know how to use defence as an attacking mechanism. My opinion is that they are not making the batsmen work hard enough for their runs. They are not setting fields which make it harder for batsmen to score," Richards said. (ANI)

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