Cricket: Smith worries as Australia let opponents off the hook


INDORE, India, Sept 25, 2017 (BSS/AFP) – Australia captain Steve Smith is worried about his team’s failure to convert potentially winning positions into victories after losing the one-day international series against India.

The visitors went down to the Virat Kohli-led side by five wickets in Indore on Sunday after opener Aaron Finch had blasted 124 to give Australia the edge.

“We’re quite often getting ourselves into good positions and we’re not taking advantage of those, and today was no different,” Smith said after the defeat that left his side trailing 3-0 in the five-match series.

“We continually address it and it’s just hard to put the finger on exactly what it is we’re doing or not doing to get the results we’re after,” he added.

Despite Finch’s knock, Australia ended on 293-6, too small a score to defend at the batting-friendly Holkar Stadium.

This was not the first time the visitors had let India off the hook in the series. In the opening match India were at one stage 87-5 but posted a match-winning 281-7.

“It’s been a bit of a trend for this format and the Test format as well,” said a worried Smith.

Australia have won just three out of 17 matches across all three formats since a one-day series victory at home against Pakistan in January.

The current defeat was Australia’s 11th loss in their past 13 ODIs away from home — a worrying trend for the team that is two months away from a home Ashes series against England.

“It’s a different format (the Ashes) but I’d certainly like to start winning some games of cricket in every format, to be honest,” said Smith.

“We’ve got to start winning games of cricket. We’ve lost 11 of our past 13 games we’ve played away with two no results, so that’s pretty ordinary. And not good enough from an Australian cricket team.

“So we need to start turning those results around and winning some games of cricket,” he said.

Former Australia fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz defended the team’s miserable run in India, saying it takes time adapting to sub-continent conditions.

The visitors, who drew a tough Test series in Bangladesh 1-1 before the latest one-day games, were undone by India’s wrist spinners — with their batting faltering at crucial moments.

“In these conditions you expect the Indian players to be the best… it’s a case of adapting your skills to suit the conditions here and it takes time,” Kasprowicz said in New Delhi.

“It’s difficult, because the conditions are so different from what we get in Australia, so that’s part of the adjustment.

“Obviously that’s something that you have got to do better and obviously with the Australian coaching team and with the staff around they will be doing that,” Kasprowicz, a Cricket Australia member, added.