The unorthodox batsman Steve Smith can score runs all around the dial. Also, in the second match against India, it looked Smith will take away the game from India even though the Aussies opening batsman Aaron Finch and David Warner lost their wickets without doing much damage. On the other side, the right-handed batsman Smith scored 98 runs, but couldn’t lead the Kangaroos to win the game in Rajkot.
David Warner (15) and Aaron Finch (33) lost their wickets within first 16 overs. But Smith’s innings provided the stability to the Australian run chase. He struck nine fours and a solitary six before getting out on the googly of Kuldeep Yadav.
The chinaman brought India right into the game following Smith’s dismissal. After this, Indian bowlers didn’t give the chance to any batter to establish themselves at the crease. Virat Kohli and Co. went on to level the series with 1-1 after bundling out the visitors on 304 runs.
Australia lost three quick wickets:
Smith opined the reason why they lost the second game to Indians. The highest scorer for Australia in that particular match, Smith, said that losing as many as three wickets in between 30-40 overs had led Men in Blue to win the game.
“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. 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.”
The exquisite timer of the ball Smith also praised the effort of Marnus Labuschagne, who played his debut ODI for Australia.
“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.”
Smith praised India’s batters’ performance:
Shikhar Dhawan (96), Virat Kohli (78) and KL Rahul (80) led the Indian team–to set a massive target of 341 runs on the Rajkot pitch. Smith praised the efforts of the trio following their solid show in the penultimate ODI.
“Virat (Kohli), Shikhar (Dhawan) and KL Rahul played really well at the back end. They were able to form some partnerships through the middle,” opined the 30-year-old.
Now, India and Australia will play ODI decider on Sunday (19 January) in Bengaluru.