Australia cricket team’s T20I series campaign against Indian cricket team received a big jolt even before it started when regular captain Steve Smith was ruled out of the three-match affair with a shoulder injury. Though another senior player David Warner took over, the team from Down Under seems to have not recovered in the series opener in Ranchi on Saturday. (IND vs AUS 1st T20I highlights)

After the match, Australia’s top-scorer, Aaron Finch, admitted they missed Steve Smith on the field. (IND vs AUS 1st T20I scorecard)

“It would have been nice to have Steve Smith’s skill out there but also his game smarts in these conditions.
There is a reason why he is the first-choice captain in all three formats,” Finch said after the game.

“It was a tough result actually. We got a pretty good start with the bat then lost our way in the middle overs. It was very challenging wicket to bat on,” he added.

‘Had to play high risk game’

Aaron Finch, however, defended Australian batsmen who lost wickets in clusters during match.

“It is easy to look back now and say, ‘yes we should have changed our approach’. But when you look at the history of this ground (in Ranchi), it suggests that 150 is a par score or the average score batting first on the surface. We wanted to make sure we were up and around that mark. We knew with how competent their bowlers are at the death — Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) and (Jasprit) Bumrah, in particular, are two of the finest going around at executing in the end,” said Finch.

“We felt we had to play a little bit more high-risk game through the middle overs to maximise. Unfortunately we just kept losing wickets,” he added. “That’s a part of T20. There is not a lot of time to be assessing the pitch for 10-12 overs and then making a decision. It has to be a split second, two or three balls”

DRS or no DRS?

The Australians also had a tough time in deciding whether the new ICC rules were applicable in this series or not. There is an option of taking one DRS according to new ICC rules, but, before the series, it was agreed by the BCCI and Cricket Australia that they would play the series by the old rules.

“I didn’t know there was a review system until about the fifth over. Nobody did,” Finch said. “Steve Smith, when he ran out during a drinks break, mentioned it. So we had to ask the umpires. But it is quite strange to have a crossover of rules for this series.

“I mean bat sizes and things like that are coming in at the end of the series. But DRS was in for this. It didn’t have any effect on the game. I just thought it was quite odd to have mixed and matched the rules for this series.”

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