INDORE: Following win over India in the 3rd Test, Steve Smith, who stood in as the captain in the absence of the injured Pat Cummins, said that the players have enough faith in their methods and they are good enough to bounce back after suffering two Test match defeats against hosts.
Australia’s convincing nine-wicket triumph over India in the third Test has helped them book a place at this year’s ICC World Test Championship Final, but who will join them in the decider remains wide open.
“The break came a good time for us,” Smith said in the post-match press conference on Friday.
“We were obviously disappointed with the way things ended particularly in the last game and failing to take our opportunities, and knowing after that second test we can’t actually win the series. That’s always been on the bucket list for a few of us. For the guys to be able to regroup, trust themselves with what they’re trying to do and just try to do it for longer. It’s something we’ve spoken about and the way we did it this week was really pleasing. It’s about taking the result out of play, have faith in our methods for long enough, we’re good enough players to get the results we’re after more often than not,” he added.
While batting collapses for Australia throughout the series might have made for a nervy run chase, especially after Usman Khawaja fell for a duck in the second innings, Travis Head (49*) and Marnus Labuschagne (28*) steered them to a stirring win.
“The message at the start of the day was to take the scoreboard out of play and pretend like it’s day one and we know if we are batting at lunch then getting 75 runs was more likely. The guys did that nicely and when Travis got his opportunity after getting himself in and they changed the ball, it looked like it wasn’t responding quite the same, and Heady put the foot down and played to his areas and there you go, we got over the line,” Smith explained.
“They are pretty hard to come by, for us to get on top in this game, particularly after losing the toss and fielding first as well, it shows the talent in this group and the belief we’ve got in ourselves. We screwed up I suppose in Delhi is one way to put it. We had an opportunity there and let that slip, but we had a good break and a good preparation coming here and it was just about getting our mental states right, we’ve done a lot of work it was just about trusting ourselves, trusting our methods,” said Smith.
“Playing the game for longer periods of time and having faith that we’ll succeed and taking the result out of play, we know with this group we have got a lot of quality players and if we are trusting ourselves and playing to our methods for a long period of time then we are going to have more success than we’re going to fail,” he added.
Australia’s latest triumph came on the back of a superb bowling performance from veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who collected 11 wickets for the match to more than make up for the unexpected absence of Cummins due to family reasons.
“Yesterday, we were brave with the ball, Nathan got the rewards, but I thought our bowling group as a collective were outstanding. Murph’ went for a run an over for 17 overs or whatever it was and just built a lot of pressure, Kuhnemann got the big wicket of Virat and Starcy came on and chimed in with a wicket as well. Then the way we went about it today was clinical, after the first over and the wicket you can get a bit nervous but we stuck to our methods,” Smith said. (ANI)