Sport Cricket ‘Pretty ordinary’: Australia loses one-day series against India

‘Pretty ordinary’: Australia loses one-day series against India

Australia loses ODI series to India
Rohit Sharma smashed four sixes and six fours in his 71. Photo: AAP
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Steve Smith has declared his side’s recent results are unacceptable for an Australian cricket team after suffering a demoralising series defeat in India ahead of the Ashes.

India wrapped up the best-of-five one-day internationals on Sunday by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in Indore, comfortably chasing down Australia’s total of 293 with 13 balls to spare.

It’s a less than ideal lead-in to the Ashes, with the first Test fewer than two months away, especially after drawing a Test series with Bangladesh earlier in the month.

“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 said.

“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.”

In ideal batting conditions, Australia were always going to struggle to defend their total.

The Holkar Stadium’s short boundaries left bowlers with little margin for error and opening duo Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane were in a punishing mood.

They put on 139 runs for the first wicket, dispatching the Australian bowlers to all parts.

In Sharma’s case that included launching Kane Richardson out of the ground.

Sharma smashed four sixes and six fours in his 71 before being caught in the deep off the bowling of Nathan Coulter-Nile (1-58), while Rahane was trapped in front by Pat Cummins (2-54) for 70.

Hope was all but extinguished when Smith dropped a tough chance to dismiss man-of-the-match Hardik Pandya on 42.

He went on to make 78 off 72 balls before Cummins had him caught at mid-on with 10 runs to get.

Earlier, Aaron Finch returned from a calf injury in style by smashing 124 off 125 balls, but again Australia’s middle order crumbled when they were most needed.

When Finch departed after a slog sweep went down deep mid-wicket’s throat, the rot set in.

“We knew when we got two to three wickets with their lower middle order, we could pull things back,” India captain Virat Kohli said.

Australia lost 5-51 in a 10-over period and could only muster three boundaries in the final 11 overs of the innings as the Indian attack tightened the screws.

“We set the template really well. The first 38 overs were magnificent we set it up and we just weren’t able to execute at the back end,” Smith said.

Glenn Maxwell (five) and Travis Head (four) both failed, while part-time wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb made three and dropped Sharma on 67 after being brought into the side following Matthew Wade’s axing.

Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar dislocated a finger on his right hand while fielding but returned to bowl to complete his 10 overs, finishing with 1-71.