Smith defends declaration call

2014-12-30 12:08
Steve Smith (AP)

Melbourne - Australia skipper Steve Smith defended the timing of his declaration as India held on for a draw in the third Test in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Australia set the tourists a 384-run victory target off just 70 overs, after batting throughout the morning session and declaring at lunchtime.

The match finished in a draw with India on 174 for six. But Australia reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after winning in Adelaide and Brisbane, ahead of next week's final Test in Sydney.

The Australian pair of Shaun Marsh and Ryan Harris found scoring difficult through much of the morning session until Marsh went after quick runs to chase a century before the declaration.

He became edgy on 99 and scampered after a risky single off Umesh Yadav, only to be caught out by Virat Kohli's throw from behind the non-striker's end.

Smith, who was captaining Australia for a second Test while Michael Clarke is injured, was questioned about his declaration call at his post-match press conference.

"India have some very good batters in their side," he said.

"The wicket didn't break up at all, it was still a very good wicket.

"But we really didn't want to give India a sniff (of victory).

"We've got another series win, which is what we were after, and hopefully we can finish well in Sydney."

Smith said he consulted coach Darren Lehmann and senior players, but in the end it was his call, adding "everyone was on the same page".

Asked about Australia's oft-stated desire to play aggressive and positive cricket, Smith said: "We say we always play to win, but it was one of those circumstances where India had an opportunity to take the new ball this morning as well.

"They didn't do that so we thought 'You know what? We'll just give you a few less overs to get these runs'.

"I thought they might have come out a bit harder at the start and we might have got a few wickets there.

"We've seen how the tail of India has gone recently. We've got through them pretty quickly.

"It didn't turn out that way, but we still got a series win, which is the most important thing for us."

Smith said he believed Australia failed to win the Test through their dropped catches in India's first innings.

"A win went begging a couple of days ago when we dropped a few catches," he said.

"Our fielding was below par for us in this Test, which was disappointing.

"We certainly let a few opportunities slip, which never helps."

Read more on:    steve smith  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

The Proteas have announced plans to play a four-day Test against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day. What do you make of this?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.