Australia batsman Steve Smith said that the loss of three wickets in quick successions in the middle overs, including his own, was the reason behind his team’s 36-run loss to India in the second ODI. India posted a huge 340 for six on a flat track on the back of opener Shikhar Dhawan who top-scored with 90-ball 96 and then bowled out Australia for 304 to level the three-match series 1-1.
“The area where we lost it was losing the three wickets in between 30 and 40 overs and not having someone there that could start to launch,” Smith said after the game on Friday. “If we had someone that had been out there for a while, perhaps things may have been different but that was probably where we lost it.”
Australia lost three quick wickets between the 30 and 40 overs where Marnus Labuschagne got out in the 31st over and Kuldeep Yadav removed for both Alex Carrey and Smith in the 38th over which turned the game for India.
“I thought Marnus played really well in his first outing, the first bat in ODI cricket. We were going at a reasonable rate at around six an over for a while. We playing good cricket shots. I thought we timed the run (rate) reasonably well but just losing those three wickets in that 30 to 40 overs but (was) a big dent in the run chase,” said Steve Smith.
However, Steve Smith said that the key to India’s victory was their partnerships and KL Rahul’s stunning knock.
“I think it’s just our normal one-day game plan, with the ball it’s trying to take wickets and stem the run rate that way, obviously they had some pretty good partnerships, Virat (Kohli), Shikhar (Dhawan) and KL Rahul played really well at the back end. They were able to form some partnerships through the middle,” he said.
On the other hand, Smith said it was good to be among the runs but it would be good if he could take the side to the finish line.
“It was nice to score a few runs, I would’ve liked to have batted a bit longer and been there in the happy hour but unfortunately, tried to cut one that stopped in the wicket a little bit and dragged it on. It was a pretty bad time. We had lost Kez (Alex Carey) in the same over,” he added.
Indian pacers used short-balls against Steve Smith and he said he will think to handle this in the next game.
“I got a few away but I probably didn’t feel great the first 20 balls I was at the crease, and then I started to find a bit of rhythm and feel a bit better. Hopefully, some-time in the middle helped and I can make some more runs in Bengaluru,” he concluded.