INDIA VS AUSTRALIA
Really proud of the boys: Steve Smith
Cricbuzz Staff • Last updated on Tue, 28 Mar, 2017, 05:01 PM
Steve Smith has said that he’s really proud of the way Australia performed in India © BCCI
Steve Smith, Australia captain, addressed the media at the end of the Dharamsala Test. Excerpts from the press conference:
What do you make of the series?
“Obviously right now, a bit of disappointment. We have fought very hard throughout this series and to fall over at the final hurdle hurts and the boys in the room are hurting. We have played a good style of cricket over here, we have competed in every Test match and for that I am really proud of the boys.
“We can take a lot out of the way we played, the plans we had and the way we’ve done it. But we just needed to do it a little bit longer at times and be a bit more consistent. We’ve certainly had our opportunities to win the games of cricket and we haven’t taken those opportunities against a quality opposition like India. They will get back in the game and make you pay. From that aspect it’s disappointing we haven’t been able to take advantage when we have been in front. Having said that I am really proud of the boys for the way we have competed this series.
On the collapses in the two innings
I’m not really sure at this present time, haven’t really had the time to think about it yet. That can certainly happen here in India, you can lose wickets in clumps. That’s what we talk about as a team, try and not do that. From that aspect it was disappointing that we did lose wickets in clumps. From being 1-130 to all out for 300 was a bit disappointing. That was an opportunity where we could’ve really driven the game, had we gone on to score 400-450 it could have been a different ball game. From that aspect it was disappointing that we weren’t able to take advantage of being 1 for 130.
On the team’s improvement
Absolutely. This team has grown so quickly. We are still a very young side, it wasn’t too long ago we were at Hobart and it was the end of the world. So I am proud of the way we have been able to turn things around and really compete in these conditions. I know coming over here, I’ve said it a few times, we were written off and we were going to lose 4-0, but the way we have been able to compete in each and every Test, it has been great to be part of. And a fantastic series played in a good style and credit has to go to India for winning 2-1.
Other players who have impressed most?
“Nathan Lyon, the way that he has been able to adapt and bowl the way we want him to bowl. He has got two 5-wicket hauls, both in the first innings of the game. He was able to change things up, when guys were sweeping him he was willing to throw the fast one in to stop them sweeping and make them defend, things like that. It’s good that these guys are thinking about the game and finding ways to have success in these conditions. It’s been a great learning curve for each and every one of the boys in the room. They are hurting right now, it’s always tough when you lose a series at the final hurdle but the guys are going to take so much out of this series. The way that we’ve played and what we’ve learned and the plans we’ve had, it’s been great. We just needed to do it for that little bit longer and win those key moments. It’s a really big stride for this team and a lot of individuals in the team as well.
Smith apologised for letting emotions get the better of him © Cricbuzz
I am sort of proud of my performances in this series. I set myself high standards and I wanted to lead from the front with my performances. I have sort of been very intense in my own little bubble and at times I have let my emotions and actions just falter a little bit throughout this series and I apologise for that. That’s a big stride for me moving forward and something I can really learn from and continue to grow as an individual and as a leader.
What have you learned from how India played?
They’ve played a pretty aggressive style of game at times and defensive at others and that’s something I have learned as well. You have to go with the flow at times in India, if you build pressure and get a wicket things can happen pretty quickly. I learned a lot about that in Sri Lanka in that series we had over there and here I learned a lot about the different tempos of the game and how to handle different situations. Similarly they play that sort of way as well. They hold and hold and wait for a little opening and once they get an opening then they go for the kill. I think that’s how they played this series.
Unhappy with the BCCI video?
Yeah, I was a little bit disappointed that the BCCI sieved through the archive to find a conversation out on the field that was happening between Matty (Wade) and Jadeja. It’s happened between both sides throughout this series, so the fact they’ve done that to us is a little bit disappointing. Usually what’s said on the field should stay on the field. It’s been a hard-fought series and guys are going to say things here and there, their emotions are going to be high. And so they should be in such a big series. So I was a little bit disappointed by the fact the BCCI did bring that out.
Always believed you’d be this close?
You’ve always got to believe and have faith in what you’re trying to do. For me, I’ve said all along it’s not been about results, it’s been about processes and making sure the plans and strategies are in place to have success here.
We’ve shown that we can do that, and we probably just have to do those for a little bit longer. But it’s been great to be in the series until day 4 on the fourth Test match. It’s been a fantastic series and one that I’ve really enjoyed being involved in. There’s been some great cricket played over the 4 Tests and it’s been fantastic to be involved in.
On Pat Cummins
He’s feeling pretty good within his body. I was really impressed with Patty Cummins. The pace he was able to generate, both here and in Ranchi on a relatively slow wicket was absolutely amazing. He puts in every single ball. The way he was able to bounce guys out in Ranchi was quite phenomenal to be honest. He’s obviously going to be a big player for us going forward. He’s had a pretty rough run with injuries and a pretty long layoff between Tests, 5 years or thereabouts. It’s been great for him to get his body right and get back playing Test cricket. He’s a really exciting prospect and I look forward to seeing him bowl in the future.
Two wickets today, did you think you had a chance?
You’ve always got to have that belief. We looked back to that first game and we bowled India out for 100 twice, so that was our message this morning, to have the belief and strange things happen, cricket’s a funny game and you never know. Right to the last ball, the guys believed that we could do the job and unfortunately today wasn’t our day. We were outplayed by India and they thoroughly deserve to win this series 2-1.
On the pitch in Dharamsala..
I don’t know if it was similar to Australia. There was probably a little bit more pace and bounce than the other wickets we’ve had… They still took a reasonable amount of inconsistent spin which is always difficult to play as well. If batters were willing to really apply themselves and get stuck in they could score runs. I thought it was a really good Test wicket. Probably the best one of the series in regards to how evenly contest it was between spinners, quicks and batters.