Steve Smith had a rare off day in the business as Australia went down in the dead rubber against India at the Manuka Oval. The hosts fell 13 runs short in pursuit of 303 set by India after opting to bat first by skipper Virat Kohli.
Batting first, the carnage from Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, who put on a 150-run unbeaten partnership to bail India out from a precarious situation. Inexperience showed in the Aussie bowling attack with Sean Abbott going for plenty at the death. The middle-order implosion after the Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli show earlier saw the hosts clawing their way back into the game.
Kohli’s departure after his fifty accentuated India’s woes as they were reduced to 152 for five. 300 looked like a distant dream at that stage, but Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja went berserk in the last 7 overs accumulating 93 runs to post 302 runs in the board.
During the run chase, Australia did feel the absence of David Warner in the run chase. Glenn Maxwell almost gave India a heart-attack, until Jasprit Bumrah cleaned him up with a clinical yorker to put India on top. Aaron Finch was amongst the runs once again, but Steve Smith couldn’t repeat his heroics. And that’s what hurt the Aussies.
Keen to take confidence in T20Is – Steve Smith
Indian bowlers – Shardul Thakur bowled an impressive spell and T Natarajan, who made his debut conceded an expensive over against Maxwell – roared back in style as he executed his yorkers once again to help India seal the tie.
Speaking at the end of the game, Steve Smith, who had an overwhelming series stated that they want to take the confidence into the upcoming three-match T20I series. The former Aussie skipper was awarded the man of the series award as he finished with 216 runs from three games including two match-winning tons.
“They have been close back to back games. A good series of cricket against a quality outfit. I think it did more with the new ball. The quicks bowled well upfront, it was a bit different as compared to the SCG. You just got to keep going forward and take the confidence. Hopefully, I’ll contribute in the upcoming games. Don’t have any plan (tomorrow) at the moment, hopefully, a day off,” Steve Smith said.