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Smith laments Australia’s ordinary ODI record in 2017

Smith laments Australia’s ordinary ODI record in 2017

INDORE: Steve Smith has said his side’s record in 2017 is unacceptable for an Australian cricket team in the wake of the One-day International series loss to India.

Australia’s five-wicket defeat in Indore saw them fall 3-0 behind in the five-match series, and was their 11th loss in their past 13 ODIs away from home. The other two matches were rain-affected no results.

With the Ashes looming in two months, the Australia skipper said his team needed to get back to winning ways fast.

“It’s a different format [to the Ashes] but I’d certainly like to start winning some games of cricket in every format to be honest,” Smith told reporters. “It’s pretty ordinary. Not good enough for an Australian cricket team and we need to start turning the results around and winning some games.

“It’s been a bit of a trend for this format and the Test format as well. We’re quite often getting ourselves into good positions and we’re not taking advantage of those and Sunday was no different.”

Australia has won just three out of 17 matches across all three formats since the ODI series victory at home against Pakistan in January.

Smith’s men will be keen to break their win drought, mindful that an ODI series whitewash away to South Africa last year preceded the 2-1 Test series defeat against the same opponents on home soil.

“It’s always hard to take when you lose,” Smith said. “[As captain] you’ve got to continue to try and motivate them and get them up for their next two games.

“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.”

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.

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.

Meanwhile, Australia received more bad news after spinner Ashton Agar was ruled out of the last two ODIs after suffering a broken finger, Cricket Australia said on Monday.

The left-armer injured his right little finger while fielding on Sunday, team doctor Richard Saw said in a statement.

“Following the conclusion of the match he went for X-rays which have confirmed a fracture of the finger,” Saw said. “He will return home to Australia and consult a specialist with a possibility of surgery.”

Agar will not be replaced in the squad for the remaining two ODI matches, CA added.

Injuries have already ruled pace bowlers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson out of the tour.

The fourth ODI is in Bangalore on Thursday.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2017

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