Smith: 'The top four need to stand up and really take control'

Smith had no qualms in admitting that Australia's batting had faltered as a unit, which was the ultimate difference between the two sides.

Australia skipper Steven Smith would be hoping that the Twenty20 series, with the addition of a few specialists, fetches it far better results ahead of the Ashes back home.   -  PTI

A look at the final scoreline may give an impression that Australia was no match to India in the five ODIs. However, had Australia's batsmen backed their bowlers' heroics, especially in the first two matches, the visiting side may have been able to keep the series alive till the last rubber. No wonder Australia captain Steven Smith wore a hapless look as he faced the media on Sunday night, after yet another disappointing loss.

Smith had no qualms in admitting that Australia's batting had faltered as a unit, which was the ultimate difference between the two sides. “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,” Smith said.

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“The top four need to stand up and really take control. We did that in a couple of games, last game in Bangalore to be particular. But we are not doing it consistently enough. We are giving ourselves the chance to really go hard at the back end of the game and getting with partnerships in the middle, something we need to look at.”

Openers David Warner and Aaron Finch had given Australia an impressive start on Sunday. However, once spin was brought on on a slower surface with little bounce and carry, the runs stifled and India picked wickets regularly. Smith gave his counterpart Virat Kohli the credit for his tactics in the field.

“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 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. We probably didn’t adapt as well as we would have liked to.”

Australia would be hoping that the Twenty20 series, with the addition of a few specialists, fetches it far better results ahead of the Ashes back home.