Australia captain Steve Smith has come down hard at his batsmen after yet another collapse saw them lose the second ODI against India by 50 runs. After the match, Smith said that the collapses are happening “bit too often” and they need to stop it.
“It’s happening a bit too often for my liking, to be honest with you, in all forms of cricket,” Smith told reporters. “We’ve had a lot of collapses and we need to stop.”
Smith, he made 59 in Kolkata, expressed that the players have trained well but are failing to execute their skill on the field which is the result of panicking.
“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,” he added. “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.”
Australia were tested by Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the start of the their chase of 252 before they struggled against the spin of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvender Chahal later in the innings. Kuldeep went on to pick a hat-trick in the match.
“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,” Smith said.
Smith tried explaining the problem and said that him team-mates are probably watching the ball too closely and forgetting about playing it.
“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,” he said.
The Australian skipper, who played his 100th ODI on Thursday, gave the example of Marcus Stoinis who remained unbeaten on 62 from 65 balls saying that he did not panic and played good cricketing shots.
“He didn’t panic, he was calm and he played good cricket shots,” Smith said. “He was nice and positive with his intent. “We just needed someone else in the top four to go on and make a score.”