India vs Australia: Steve Smith unable to stall Australia freefall

Indore, Sep 26:  Steve Smith knows Australia aren’t winning the crucial moments and he gave no excuses for Australia’s poor performance after yet another hammering at the hands of India here on Sunday night.

When Australia toured India earlier this year for the four-match Test series, they started off well with a victory in the Pune Test, and had their moments in each of the next three Tests in Bengaluru, Ranchi and Dharamshala. However, they failed to seize those moments and eventually lost the series.

Nothing appears to have changed in this One-day match-up. Australia had their moments in Chennai in the first game. In Kolkata, they would have fancied their chances after having restricted India to a chaseable total. On Sunday, the Aussies were again in a very strong position. They were 224-1 with two set batsmen at the crease and looking at a target of around 340.

However, they managed only 69 off the last 74 balls, losing five wickets in the bargain. Smith mentioned “69 off 74 balls” thrice during the press conference. Australia lost the third One-dayer by five wickets, and with it the series.

“Our first 38 overs with the bat particularly when the wicket sort of slows up a little bit as it did. We still need to find a way,” he said.

Australia’s five-wicket defeat in Indore was their 11th loss in their past 13 One-dayers away from home, with two matches washed away due to rain. Smith accepts it difficult to motivate players after losing the series. “I think we’ve lost 13 of the last 15 games we’ve played away with two being no-results. That’s pretty ordinary. Not good enough for Australian cricket. We need to start turning the results around and winning some games of cricket.”

Unlike Australia, Indian ope were very good. Two guys in the top four batted well, one guy got a hundred. We just weren’t able to execute it in the back end. We got 69 off last 74 balls, losing five wickets. If we got to 330-340, which we probably should have done, things certainly could have been different,” the Australian captain said.

Smith also praised the Indian pace bowlers for executing their plans to perfection. “I think a mixture of guys making probably the wrong decisions on the wrong balls. Also, some pretty well-executed bowling. I think Bumrah and Bhuvi are probably two of the best death bowlers going around, Openers got off to a blazing start and added 139 in just 21.4 overs. “They came and played positively. I guess that’s one of the luxuries you have when you are 2-0 up in the series. You can take the game on and take a few risks. I thought the way they played, they took the game, executed it really well, got themselves ahead of the rate, set it up for the rest of the guys,” said Smith.

Smith himself has dropped catches at crucial moments. On Sunday, he dropped Pandya on 41. “At the moment, my catching hasn’t been good enough. I think I’ve dropped one in every game I’ve played so far (in this series). I’ve been working hard, just might need to work a little bit harder to try and set the standard,” he said.

Source Time Of India