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IND vs AUS 2017: A Lot of Players are Playing a Little Bit Scared – David Saker 

IND vs AUS 2017: A Lot of Players are Playing a Little Bit Scared – David Saker

David Saker, Australia’s stand-in head coach, has blamed the players’ fear to express themselves as the reason behind Australia’s dismal show in the recently concluded One-Day International series against India.

Barring the fourth One-Day International in Bengaluru where a mammoth 231-run stand between Aaron Finch and David Warner inspired them to a big total and eventually a whitewash-avoiding win, the world champions cut a sorry figure throughout the five-match series, losing it 4-1.

Batting collapses were the regular features of the Australia team, but instead of blaming the players’ skill-set, Saker said the mindset was the reason behind the failure.

“It’s not mainly personnel, I think it’s mainly just their mindset and where they are in their games,” Saker said ahead of the first T20 in Ranchi on Saturday.

“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,” he said. “But when you’re losing, you play scared, you go insular, and you start looking at number one.I think there’s little bits of that. It’s not dramatic, and we know we can fix that. I think the talent is there,” he added.

The series loss in India extended Australia’s awful record in overseas ODIs. The reigning world champions have lost 12 of their last 15 games while winning just one. The form has cast doubts over whether they would be able to defend their World Cup title which is less than two years away.

“Obviously, our away form has been quite dreadful, so we have to have a look at that,” he said. The next World Cup is away (from home),” Saker said.

“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.

The stand-in coach also hoped a change in format and the arrival of new players would help the team express itself.

“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,” he said.

“In Twenty20 cricket we’re definitely going to go out there (to) express ourselves and have some fun,” he said. “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.”

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