Inability to bowl us out will be hurting India, says Smith
Ranchi: Steve Smith on Monday said India’s inability to bowl Australia out on the final day of the drawn third cricket Test will be hurting the hosts and the momentum will be with the visitors going into the series deciding final Test in Dharamsala.
“If there’s anything called momentum in cricket it’s probably with us at the moment. India coming today would have expected to bowl us out. I’m sure they’re hurting a little bit,” Australia captain Smith said at the post match press conference.
Peter Handscomb scored a gritty unbeaten 72 and Shaun Marsh made 53 as the middle-order duo put on a match-saving fifth wicket partnership of 124 runs to bail Australia out under testing conditions in little less than four hours to force a draw.
“I’m very proud. They had magnificent plans. They backed their defence for a long period of time and to see the game out for as long as they did, it was an outstanding performance,” Smith said.
“I’m really proud of the way they did that. That’s one of the things we’ve been talking about — being resilient and sticking out the touch times. The way Petey (Handscomb) and Shaun 9Marsh) did that was absolutely magnificent,” he said.
“It’s probably on our side at the moment, but having said that it’s one-all and we’re playing a decider in Dharamsala.
The group’s looking forward to it.”
With all of their batters barring David Warner in form, Smith said: “It’s great signs for us that everyone is contributing.”
But in the hindsight he felt that they were about 100 runs short in the first innings, with Indian left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja making the difference with his five for 124-run spell.
“Everyone is in good form, we’ve have a good three Test matches but to be honest we probably left ourselves 100 runs short in the first innings,” Smith said.
“We probably should have got ourselves 550 and been able to get in front of the game from there. Things could have ended a bit differently.
“But that’s the game of cricket. It’s great to see all the batters working very hard on their plans and are contributing and scoring runs.”