It has been quite a disappointing outing for Australia, and after Thursday’s consolatory win against India, the team’s stand-in coach, David Saker, heaved a sigh of relief. Interacting with the scribes after the match, the coach spoke on a range of issues.


How does it feel to finally end the losing streak?

It was nice to win. I think we had some opportunities in the first two games to probably get one and we didn't. And against an opposition like this, you've to really play well and when the opportunities come up, you've to seize them. We didn't do that. To be fair today, it wasn't one of our great performances. I thought we batted well up to the 43rd over. We may have let them some runs out there but we bowl better than that. But we ended up getting the points which, for me is a relief, but the boys in there are really happy as well that they've got something out of it.

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Why was Glenn Maxwell left out for the fourth ODI?

We were looking for people to perform and in his last 20 games, he probably hasn't done that for us. In his position, the way he plays, he's a big match winner. But it's been a while he's done that for us, especially in any consistent form. We really wanted Wade to keep through the series but we made that change the game before, but Mattsy just has to get some numbers to justify getting picked.

Why was Adam Zampa left out of the side after the series opener in Chennai?

We just thought we needed a bit of a change, because when we picked Ashton we thought he can control the game a little bit better than Adam. But Zampa is a really good wicket-taker and quite an aggressive bowler. We thought we wanted someone a little bit more defensive. He came in today and bowled some really good balls and good stuff for us. Against Pandya, who is a dangerous hitter, if you get it a little bit wrong, he hits you out of the park. It's a learning curve for him, and for all of us bowling to him. He is a very good talent and he particularly likes to play against spin, by the looks of it.

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On Indian bowlers’ variations...

I thought about this after watching Kane Richardson bowl at the end. I think he did some really good stuff with his slower balls. We have all got the slower balls in our armoury but sometimes bowling to some of these guys... You are always thinking ‘what if I bowl it wrong?’. They(Indians) are more confident with their deliveries. And Australians generally back themselves to bowl bouncers but the conditions in the last two games haven't been conducive to that. So we probably don't rely on the slower balls as much as you do in the subcontinent. We are always trying to work on it and improve the players. The Asian players do it really well.

What did the team do better in the fourth ODI?

I think we took wickets at really important moments. The game, at times, was slipping away from us but whenever it was, we took a wicket which put the pressure back on the Indian team. I thought our last ten overs was particularly good. The rest of the innings, we didn't bowl as well as we could. I thought we held our nerves at the end. We all know they have some dangerous hitters and when Dhoni came in, it was about some 15-runs per over but those were still the nervous time. We held our nerves. Kane Richardson was outstanding at the back end of the game. And Pat Cummins was pleasing.

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On his side’s fielding...

I thought our fielding was good, particularly the captain’s. That was as good as fielding on display that I have seen from anybody in the world. It was good that he brought that sort of energy to the game. Some of our chases on the boundary line were very pleasing. We could have done a lot of things better but it's great to get the points.

On Ben Stokes controversy and whether it will help Australia ahead of the Ashes...

I don't want to comment on some other team. They will have to deal with it themselves. I know Ben personally, he's a good man, but I am not going to comment on what's happening in the English rooms. It's their decision to make. We'll just make sure we concentrate on making sure we play well in the rest of this series.