Steve Smith is understandably not happy with the way Australian middle-order failed to cash in on the batting template provided by him and Aaron Finch. The Aussie skipper, though, didn’t mince any words while praising Hardik Pandya, who played a fantastic 78-run knock to help India squeak home.
After losing the first three of the five-match ODI series, Australia’s winless streak had stretched to eight games and the dream of winning an ODI series in India for the first time since 2009 had been nipped in the bud. Skipper Steve Smith’s frustration was very understandable as in all three games, the Australians were in a strong position, but they simply let go of the advantage each time. Yesterday was another dismal illustration of the absence of the much-fabled “Aussie spirit” as despite Finch's eighth ODI hundred and Smith's own half-century powered the visitors to 224 for 1 in the 38th over, they were restricted to a sub-300 score on a pitch where 330 would have been par
"I probably thought our first probably 38 overs with the bat was very good. That was kind of the template we were trying to set. Two guys in the top four going on - one guy to get a hundred obviously, and the others bat around. We just weren't able to execute it in the back end. I think that was probably... we got 69
"That's probably a bit of a trend for this format and Test format as well. We are quite often getting ourselves
Smith, himself, has been at the receiving end of
"At the moment, my catching hasn't been good enough," Smith lamented. "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. It went in the air and was swirling a little bit, a fair bit of spin on the ball. I expect myself to take those chances. If I get my hands
However, Smith didn’t restrain from praising the Indian batsmen and their approach during the run chase. "I thought we set it up beautifully with the bat to launch at the back end, but I thought the Indian bowlers executed really well and we executed poorly. We couldn't get the boundaries. A total in excess of 330 might have been a different result, but credit to India. Hardik was magnificent and Rohit and Jinks (Rahane) were fabulous too," Smith said.