Steve Smith has taken responsibility for Australia’s loss in the Kolkata ODI stating that had he and Travis Head stayed for a longer period, the result could have been a different one. Smith also seemed to be frustrated by the recent batting collapses and asked the batsmen to bring an end to it.
For the second game in a row, the Australian bowlers bowled on impressive line and lengths to restrict the Indian team for a modest total as Nathan Coulter-Nile led the bowling unit yet again as the hosts lost 7 wickets for 66 runs in the second half of India's innings. However, later their batsmen failed to stay on the wicket for a long time and literally threw their wickets away and as a result, Australia slipped to their 10th successive ODI defeat (games that were completed) away from home. Smith put himself at the centre of the debacle blaming himself and Travis Head for their failure to build on a 76-run stand for the third wicket.
"It was a point for one of us to go on and make a big score and be there till the end. That's the way we play - one of our top-four has to go on and make a big score. Heady and I were the two guys who got in and we weren't able to do so. A lot of the blame falls on us. We got a good little partnership there. We turn 70 into a 140 then the game's closed. We just weren't able to do it," Smith was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"We made many poor decisions again. Under pressure, we are not executing our skills well enough. We are losing wickets in clumps which we can't afford to do." he said.
Australia has been going through a bad run of form in limited-overs cricket of late and yesterday’s batting collapse was not an isolated incident. They had lost 4 wickets for 35 runs in Chennai and 5 for 15 in the Champions Trophy defeat to England in their recent games. Smith asked their players for a change in approach to bring an end to the sorry state of affairs.
"Well, it's happening a bit too often for my liking, to be honest with you. We've had a lot of collapses we need to stop. It's just easy to just sit here and say it needs to stop, but when you get out in the middle, you've to change what you're doing because it's not working.
"So... Watching the ball closer. Maybe the guys are trying to watch the ball too closely and forgetting about just playing the game. It's a hard one to put my finger on. But whatever it is, it needs to change and we need to make a better decision when we're under and start playing properly. I think we panicked a little bit in the last game. This game, we just couldn't get the partnerships, we are just making silly errors."
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