The inevitable occurred for Australia as their batsmen were once again found wanting against the Sri Lankan spinners on a lively track. With the crushing loss at Colombo, Australia just didn’t concede their first ever test series to Sri Lanka, but were humiliated in the highest form as it was a complete whitewash. Due to losing this game, this was Australia’s 9th consecutive defeat in Asia. Fair to say, if they continue to counter spin, in the same way, that tally will be up to 13 after their series against India.
Skipper Steve Smith, who scored a fine resilient century in the first innings, couldn’t help his side the second time around as the veteran Rangana Herath once again raked havoc. The Kangaroos were in no shape or mindset to play spin, let alone go for the target. Post the loss, Smith spoke about the horrific series for his side. “We have been outplayed in every facet of the game, our plans haven’t worked as individuals or as a collective group, we haven’t been able to put Sri Lanka under as much pressure as we would have liked,” said Smith.
“It’s a hard one to grasp really, it’s been a very tough series again, that is our third straight whitewash loss in the subcontinent,” Smith said. “What we are doing isn’t working. Batters aren’t adapting to the conditions, spin bowlers aren’t adapting to the conditions. I can’t fault our quicks, I thought they did a great job, particularly Starc, but our batters and spinners are the ones who have to step up in these conditions and we haven’t been able to do that.”
Mentioning the fact that his spinners were not up to the mark, Smith said, “In these conditions, it is the spinners’ job to get the majority of the wickets as the Sri Lankan spinners did, we just haven’t been able to do that. The selectors are there to do the job and I back whatever they go with. We’re here to do a job and in this series and we haven’t been able to do that.”
“It’s been difficult, we’ve batted second in every game we’ve played, and you’re always behind the game knowing you have to bat last in these conditions. That first innings of the series did hurt us,” Smith concluded.