Smith issues warning to team-mates

“I'll certainly like to start winning some games of cricket in every format, to be honest. Our results haven't been good enough and we need to turn them around,” Smith said.

Australia's Steve Smith will look to avoid a second 5-0 ODI series drubbing in less than 12 months.   -  AP

 

Barring the milestone of earning his 100th ODI cap, Steve Smith has had little to smile about during the ongoing tour of India. In each of the three matches, the Australia captain – despite faring well with the bat – has dropped a catch, has seen his colleagues, especially in the batting unit, flounder in capitalising key moments and thus faced the ignominy of having lost the five-match ODI series against an on-song India in the first three matches.

He had a stern warning for his team-mates after suffering yet another disappointing loss in Indore on Sunday. “I'll certainly like to start winning some games of cricket in every format, to be honest. Our results haven't been good enough and we need to turn them around,” Smith said.

After electing to bat first on the best surface for batting in the series so far, Australia was set for putting on a mammoth total on the board, being placed at 224 for two at the end of the 38th over. Despite the centurion Aaron Finch having perished, the platform was set for a 330-plus total, a must for putting India's batsmen under pressure at the Holkar Stadium. However, with India's bowlers tightening the noose around them, the Australian batsmen couldn't get anything going and couldn't even score at a run-a-ball in the last 12 overs.

“We just weren't able to execute it in the back end. I think that was probably... we got 69 off last 74 balls lost 5 wickets. If we got to 330-340, which we probably should have done, things certainly could have been different,” Smith said. “... We are quite often getting ourselves in good positions but not taking advantage of those. Today was no different. We continually address it. Its just hard to put your finger on what we are actually doing or not doing to get the results we are after. Today, it was about execution.”

With the series now lost, Smith has a huge challenge to help his team-mates keep their chins up in the remaining two ODIs and look to avoid a second 5-0 series whitewash in less than 12 months. “It's always hard when you lose. Particularly when you lose three-nil, we're down three-nil at the moment. We've got to continue to try and motivate them and get them up for the next two games,” he said. “We've got to start winning games of cricket. I think we've lost 13 of the last 15 games we've played away with two being no results. That's pretty ordinary. Not good enough for an Australian cricket. We need to start turning the results around and winning some games of cricket.”