Angry at the way Australian batsmen collapsed yet again at the Eden Gardens in the second One-day International (ODI) against India, skipper Steve Smith said these things “need to stop” and are “not good enough”. Chasing a modest 253 to win, Australia were reduced to 8-148 in reply after pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-9) as well as spinners Kuldeep Yadav (3-54, including a hat-trick) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2-34) cut through their batting with relative ease on Thursday.
This was Australia’s 10th straight defeat in completed away ODIs.
“It’s happening a bit too often for my liking, to be honest with you, in all forms of cricket, 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,” a dejected Smith told reporters at the post match press conference.
“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,” Smith, who fought a lone battle scoring 59 runs, said.
“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 Australian captain said.
Marcus Stoinis (62 not out) too made a half century towards the end of their innings but it proved to be too little too late.
“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,” Smith said.
The skipper said a lot of the blame fell on himself and Travis Head (39) after they’d shared a 76-run stand 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, 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,” Smith said.
On Stoinis, Smith said, “He didn’t panic, he was calm and he played good cricket shots.
“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,” the 28-year-old said.
The tourists now need to win the remaining three matches on the bounce in order to clinch the series. India currently lead 2-0 in the five game affair.