Smith: Pitches tough to bowl on

2015-01-10 14:36
Steve Smith (AP)

Sydney - Flat pitches and dropped catches made it tough going for Australia's bowlers in the four-Test series against India, skipper Steve Smith said on Saturday.

The Australians took the series 2-0, but plucky India held on for a second successive draw over five days in the final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

This year's result is a turnaround for Australia after a humiliating 4-0 defeat by India on their home turf in 2013.

But Smith said the Aussies might have won by a greater margin if not for the unresponsive pitches and bungled catches.

Shaun Marsh's dropped catch on Saturday when Murali Vijay was on 42 - on the way to 80 - was Australia's 17th missed fielding opportunity in the series.

"I think the wickets have been extremely flat and it's been tough to take 20 wickets," he said.

"Throughout this season we've let ourselves down in the field. Perhaps if we had taken a few more chances, it might have been a little bit different.

"They are not the standards we set as an Australian cricket team.

"We have a lot of work to do on our fielding, with one-day series and the World Cup coming up, to get our standards up where we want them to be."

Australia won the opening two Tests in Adelaide and Brisbane, but could not take 20 Indian wickets in the remaining Tests in Melbourne and Sydney, which finished in draws.

"It has been tough to get 20 wickets in this Test series," he said.

"The wickets haven't broken up quite as much as we thought they would. I don't know the reasons for that.

"The bowlers have toiled extremely hard throughout these four Test matches and I'm really proud of the way they gone through these games."

It was a batsmen's series with a total of 15 centuries scored, four each to Smith and Indian counterpart Virat Kohli.

Smith finished as the player of the series. Apart from his hundreds he took some exceptional catches, none better than his brilliant flying right-handed grasp at second slip to dismiss Rohit Sharma for 39 on Saturday.

"It was just one of those ones. I think (former Australia Test captain) Mark Taylor talked to me about three he dropped in Adelaide," Smith said.

"He said 'they usually come in threes.' I said: 'Thanks for the confidence Mark.'

"I was just one of those ones, got across to it and it stuck."

Smith said he had enjoyed being captain for three Tests in the absence of Michael Clarke due to injury.

"I've really enjoyed it, I've had a great time." he said.

"A lot of the senior boys have been helping me out and the boys have done everything I've asked of them.

"They've worked their backsides off every day and I couldn't be prouder of them for the way they've performed in this series."

Read more on:    steve smith  |  cricket

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