Australia, opting to bat first, were in a good position at 110 for two before left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (3/38) triggered a middle-order collapse.
Smith praised the Indian spinners and the pitch conditions, saying, “All their spinners bowled really nicely. Obviously, they had the wicket to suit as well. It was challenging against the spin since they are all very quality spinners. They really worked well together, and we struggled to get on top of them.”
Besides Jadeja, wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav claimed two wickets, and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took one.
In response, India chased down the target of 200, with Virat Kohli scoring 85 and KL Rahul remaining unbeaten on 97, despite India being 2/3 in the second over.
Smith credited Kohli and Rahul for their composed batting, saying, “It was game on. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take it. Virat and Rahul played with a lot of composure. They played really smart cricket.”
Steve Smith. (IANS Photo)
Regarding the challenge posed by the pitch, Smith mentioned, “It was a challenging wicket, and we also saw a fair bit of spin taking place, along with a bit of movement for the seam bowlers off the cracks. So, obviously, it was difficult.”
Smith, who top-scored for Australia with 46 runs, felt he was playing well but couldn’t convert it into a bigger score.
Looking ahead, Australia will face South Africa in their next match. Smith commented on the unknown pitch conditions in Lucknow and the potential return of Marcus Stoinis to the team, saying, “Who knows (about Lucknow’s surface)? It depends on what the surface looks like and how we need to play on that. So, we wait to see till we go there and figure out. Yeah, we have a few options that we can go in with. Marcus (Stoinis) is back with the team potentially. So, we have to wait and see how we can fit them in.”