Kepler Wessels was particularly critical about the way Steven Smith (Above) led Australia at Perth    Getty Images
Kepler Wessels was particularly critical about the way Steven Smith (Above) led Australia at Perth Getty Images

Former Australia and South Africa skipper Kepler Wessels has said that the current Australian side has no passion and no fight. Wessels was particularly critical of Steven Smith s captaincy, especially with the way he led the team in the first Test against South Africa at Perth. Austrlia were set a daunting 539-run target and were cleaned by for just 361, handing the Proteas a 177-run win to go 1-0 up in the three-Test series. Wessels has also called for the axing of all-rounder Mitchell Marsh after a string of poor performances. Australia and South Africa will fight it out once again in the second Test scheduled to be played at Hobart from November 12. Full Cricket Scorecard: Australia vs South Africa 2nd Test at Hobart

“They lacked quality, passion and the fighting spirit associated with Australian teams of the past,” Wessels wrote in a column for SuperSport. “Their batting line-up has a frail look about it. If David Warner or Steve Smith don’t score heavily, the Aussies are in trouble.” As individuals, the Australian players are under huge pressure. They have lost four test matches in a row,” said Wessels, who played 24 tests for Australia. “This means that captain Steve Smith, in particular, is under the pump. His captaincy in this test match was unimpressive. He isn’t in the best form with the bat either, which compounds the problem for him personally and for the team as a whole.”

Marsh picked up just a couple of wickets at Perth and averages just over 23 in the 19 innings he has played for Australia in the middle-order. “They have a long tail with all-rounder Mitchell Marsh batting at six,” said Wessels. “If the Australian selectors had any sense they would pick six specialist batsmen and opt for four front-line bowlers. This will give their team a better balance under Australian conditions.”