Smith praises Indian pacers

Smith praises Indian pacers

 After their second innings batting collapse allowed India to level the series here on Tuesday, a disappointed Australian skipper Steve Smith drew attention to some of the reasons behind the defeat.

The right-hander confessed that the Indian pacers played a huge role in putting Australia under pressure by their disciplined performance, something he felt his pacers couldn’t do. 

“Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma were very good, particularly in the first innings. They hit the good areas consistently and challenged our defence a lot. It was very hard to score off them and they looked dangerous of taking wickets. That’s where I think we fractionally fell short. Our line and length were not quite as consistent as theirs,” Smith explained at the post match press conference here.

Being on the receiving end for the first two days, India’s recovery was fuelled by a fighting batting show in their second hit. A classy half-century from KL Rahul (51) had given India a good start and the hosts managed to keep the game in balance thanks to a 118-run stand between Cheteshwar Pujara (92) and Ajinkya Rahane (52). The duo quelled the challenge of the Australian pacers as India held firm, without losing any wicket in the final session on Monday.

“I think on Monday evening when we were bowling, we were rushing a little bit. We were almost expecting things to happen instead of just getting to the basics and executing our skills. We gave them many freebies. In the first innings as well, probably we gave away five or six boundaries off balls which were gifted to them,” he noted.

Smith agreed that chasing target of 188 on a challenging fourth day wicket was always going to be difficult. To Australia’s misfortunes, Shaun Marsh, who had essayed a responsible knock (66) in the first innings, departed following a miscommunication on DRS with Smith. The southpaw was given leg before wicket of Umesh. Australia didn’t review the decision but television replays showed the ball missing the stumps by a fair margin.

“We weren't entirely sure. But I said ‘go’ as in ‘go have a look at it’. But he turned around and started walking. May be I should have just put my hands up and done it (reviewed). Shaun was looking pretty good and it was disappointing to lose a wicket that time,” he said.

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