Nagpur: Skipper Steven Smith has attributed Australia’s abysmal run in ODIs to lack of consistency after the visitors were comfortably beaten by India in the five-match series. Australia lost the fifth and final ODI against India by seven wickets last night to end the series 1-4.
“Probably the lack of consistency, I’d say,” said Smith when asked about the biggest deficiency in the Australian ODI team.
“We showed some glimpses throughout the series, that we could play but we’ve been losing wickets in clumps very consistently and that’s not good enough. The top four need to stand up and really take control,” he said.
“We did that in a couple of games, last game in Bangalore to be particular. But we are not doing it consistently enough.”.
Talking about the final match, Smith said they couldn’t play the spinners well as India captain Virat Kohli had set a good field and his team failed to adapt.
“We had a chat after our second game, it was about playing the spinners and hitting the ball down the ground, I thought we did that in a couple of games. And then today Virat Kohli set some really good fields and stopped us from hitting and I don’t think we adapted well enough,” he said.
“Today was probably a day when we could have used softer hands, played a bit square and hit the ball into the gaps instead of actually hitting the ball down the ground,” said the skipper.
Australia made a modest 242 in the fifth ODI and India overhauled the target with ease in just 42.5 overs. Smith said 242 was a below par total.
“I don’t think we had enough runs. We needed to take wickets and obviously was trying with different people to try and get a breakthrough and put some pressure. I thought Rohit (Sharma) played very well and timed his innings to perfection,” he said.
Looking ahead, Smith said there are some players who could be replaced in the current team.
“There’re possibly a few guys … Some guys are back playing the domestic one-day domestic competition at the moment and yeah, there’re some guys there that can put some pressure on the guys that are here.
“Obviously the results haven’t been good enough and we want our guys to perform consistently,” he said.
Smith, himself, ended with scores of 16, 3, 63, 59, 1 in the five-match series and the Australian skipper said he wanted to score more runs.
“To be honest, I wasn’t feeling great at the start of the series. I had a few issues that I was working on but I guess I slowly found out a nice tempo which I’m after.
“I would have loved to score a lot more runs, have not been able to get those runs like I have been in the past few occasions, and from that aspect as a leader of the team that has been disappointing but yeah I guess that’s cricket.
“You have those periods when you’re not playing or getting the scores that you like … Something that hopefully I can turn around and contribute in the T20Is,” he added.
When asked how the Ben Stokes controversy would affect England in the Ashes, Smith chose not to comment.
“I’m not sure to be honest with you and I’m not looking at too far ahead at the moment. Just finished this series here and have to take a series in six days’ time. We’re going to focus on that and then prepare for the Ashes.”