Australia coach David Saker feels the side was scared to take on Kohli & Co

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BCCI

Australia coach David Saker feels the side was scared to take on Kohli & Co

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SportsCafe Desk

10/03/2017

Australia stand-in head coach David Saker believes that the string of away losses have taken a toll on the team’s confidence as they looked scared at times while taking on India. However, he also stated that the problem is repairable and the new T20 side can instill confidence back in the team.

Australia’s 4-1 loss in the recently concluded ODI series against India takes their losing tally to five in their last eight bilateral ODI series played away from home, since they lifted the 2015 ICC World Cup. David Saker admits that the winless run has made it difficult to keep things positive among the players.

Barring the fourth ODI, where Australia managed their only win of the series following a late batting collapse by India, the Aussies never looked lethal facing Virat Kohli’s young brigade. Saker feels that the low confidence was the reason that his team looked scared to take on a high-flying Indian side in their own backyard.

Speaking to cricket.com.au, Saker told, “It's not mainly personnel, I think it's just their mindset and where they are in their games. A lot of them are playing a little bit scared, which we try not to do. We try and make sure they play with a lot of freedom and express themselves as much as they can. But when you're losing, you play scared, you go insular and you start looking after number one. I think there's little bits of that.”

The reigning world champions sit third in the ICC ODI rankings now equal with England in fourth place with 114 rating points, and with the next World Cup just two years away Smith and co will have to sort out their mess and fast. It will be played away from home this time and their away form is hardly encouraging. However, Saker believes small changes here and there could fix things for the side as the side is replete with talent.

“Obviously, our away form has been quite dreadful so we have to have a look at that. The next World Cup is away (from home). I don't think it's all doom and gloom, I think there's some talent in that team. But there's no doubt we have to probably re-jig a few things and see where we're at,” he added.

Australia will see a huge squad overhaul ahead of the 3-match T20 series. Specialists like Jason Behrendorff, Dan Christian, Moises Henriques, Tim Paine and AJ Tye have been called up for the series India while the likes of Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner and Hilton Cartwright packed their bags. Saker believes that the change in the squad could work well in bringing back the lost confidence to the dressing room as most of them haven’t experienced the ODI loss.

“Bringing almost half the squad in who haven't been here for the four weeks so far is going to be exciting, and exciting for them. After a long tour, India can sometimes get you down and wear you down but getting five or six new guys into the squad after what's happened in the one-day series, we'll be really determined to bounce back," Saker said.

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