Steve Smith misses chance to land knockout blow with England staggering | Adam Collins

The Australia captain’s decision not to enforce the follow-on was puzzling – it may not change the result but it has allowed the tourists to attack

If you find a bruise, punch it. In the political arena, teachings do not come much clearer. On the evening of day three, Steve Smith had a chance to land a Jean-Claude Van Damme spin-kick into Joe Root’s ribs. By not enforcing the follow-on, the Australians allowed the visitors to sleep a lot less battered than they should have.

It may not be that much of a sample size, but the indisputable learning from day-night Tests is that it is much harder to bat under lights when the ball is hard and new. When Australia toppled England barely a quarter-hour into the final session on Monday, their bowlers had earned the opportunity to humiliate England and go again. There was a chance to dismiss Root’s top order – the captain included – twice in a day.

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