Advertisement

Smith slams batsmen after another collapse

Regular batting collapses across all formats "not good enough", says Aussie skipper after Kolkata defeat

Captain Steve Smith has slammed his batsmen following another collapse against India in Kolkata, saying they've "panicked" and "made too many poor decisions" with the bat in this ODI series.

Smith was a visibly frustrated figure when he faced the media following his side's 50-run defeat at Eden Gardens, saying their regular batting collapses in all formats "need to stop" and are "not good enough".

Chasing a modest 253 to win, Australia slumped to 8-148 in reply after paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar (who finished with figures of 3-9) as well as spinners Kuldeep Yadav (3-54, including a hat-trick) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2-34) did as they pleased.


Smith's anger was not quite as obvious as it was at his famous press conference in Hobart last summer, when he blasted his players following their fifth straight Test loss, but the normally measured media performer didn't hold too much back in assessing his side's performance.

"It's happening a bit too often for my liking, to be honest with you, in all forms of cricket," he said. "We've had a lot of collapses and we need to stop.

"It's easy to just sit here and say 'it needs to stop', but when you get out in the middle you have to change what you're doing because it's not working.

"Watching the ball closer or maybe the guys are trying to watch it too closely and forgetting about just playing the game.

"It's a hard one to put my finger on. But whatever it is, it needs to change and we need to make better decisions when we're under pressure and start playing the game properly.

"Because we're having too many collapses and it's not good enough.

"Two-fifty, we should be getting that on that wicket. We made too many poor decisions again under pressure and we're not executing our skills well enough.

"The guys have trained really well and it's now about getting out in the middle and executing your skills when you're under pressure and not panicking.

"I think we panicked last game a little bit and in this game, we just couldn't get the partnerships. We're making silly errors when we're under pressure."

Aussies collapse as India go 2-0 up

The skipper said a lot of the blame fell on himself (59) and Travis Head (39) after they'd shared a 74-run partnership following the loss of two early wickets to put the tourists on track for a series-levelling victory.

"It was upon one of (the top four) to go on and make a big score and be there at the end," he said.

"Heady and I were the two who got in and we weren't able to do so, so a lot of the blame falls on us.

"We got a good little partnership together there ... if you turn that 70 into 140, the game's closed. We just weren't able to do it."

While the Australians have been widely criticised for their batting collapses in Test cricket, particularly against spin, it's a trend that's also crept into their one-day cricket away from home.

They lost 8-109 in a rain-reduced chase in Chennai on Sunday, 8-118 in their Champions Trophy loss to England at Edgbaston in June, 6-67 against New Zealand at Eden Park in February, and 8-121 against South Africa in Port Elizabeth 12 months ago.

Kuldeep makes history with hat-trick

And their collapse of 6-63 on Sunday night would have been a lot worse if not for a fighting half-century from allrounder Marcus Stoinis, who Smith said provided the blueprint for his more experienced teammates to follow.

"He didn't panic, he was calm and he played good cricket shots," Smith said of the allrounder's unbeaten 62, which included three sixes. "He was nice and positive with his intent.

"We just needed someone else in the top four to go on and make a score. If we did that, the result would have certainly been different."

Australia's loss in Kolkata was their 10th in a row away from home, their worst losing streak abroad in their history, and they now must win the third match in Indore on Sunday just to keep the series alive.


Australia's Qantas Tour of India

Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.

Australia T20 squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Jason Behrendorff, Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.

India squad (first three ODIs): Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.

ODI Fixtures


September 17: India won by 26 runs (DLS Method)

September 21: India won by 50 runs

September 24: Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore

September 28: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

October 1: VCA Stadium, Nagpur


T20 Fixtures


October 7: JSCA International Stadium, Ranchi

October 10: Barsapara Stadium, Guwahati

October 13: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad