Australia cricket team captain Steve Smith himself struggled with the bat on the challenging M Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch during the second Test vs India cricket team. Umesh Yadav trapped him leg before during the second innings on Day 4, Tuesday, while he could only manage 8 in the first innings.(PTI)
Australia cricket team captain Steve Smith himself struggled with the bat on the challenging M Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch during the second Test vs India cricket team. Umesh Yadav trapped him leg before during the second innings on Day 4, Tuesday, while he could only manage 8 in the first innings.(PTI)

Cheteshwar Pujara-Ajinkya Rahane parntership hurt us, says Steve Smith

Australia cricket team captain Steve Smith said his batsmen were not up to the mark against Ravichandran Ashwin in the final innings. India cricket team won the match by 75 runs as Aussies fell chasing the target of 188, powered by half centuries from Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Bangalore
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2017 07:10 PM IST

Australia cricket team skipper Steve Smith described the Bangalore Test as a “great Test match” which tested the resolve of batsmen and bowlers from both the sides. (HIGHLIGHTS)

Ravichandran Ashwin’s 25th five-wicket haul and a cracked and uneven pitch propelled Virat Kohli-led India cricket team to a series-leveling, 75-run win on Tuesday, when the Aussie batting lineup capitulated chasing a victory target of 188 in the second test. (SCORECARD)

“This afternoon didn’t go to plan,” said Steve Smith during the post-match media interaction. “Ashwin did what he has done so well. He’s over here for a very long time. He hit good areas and challenged our batters… We weren’t up for it today.”

Earlier, during the Indian second innings, Ajinkya Rahane (52) and Cheteshwar Pujara (92) shared a century stand to help the hosts post a formidable total (considering the pitch conditions).

Read more | India vs Australia: After Virat Kohli, DRS bloopers trouble Aussies now

“I think the partnership between Rahane and Pujara really hurt us,” said Smith about the duo who took the match away from the Aussies. “They played particularly well.”

The M Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch, which was turning and uneven from Day 1 of the match, posed a lot of problems for batsmen from both sides. It was a gruelling Test of skill and patience and Smith admitted that.

Read more | India vs Australia: Virat Kohli taunts Steve Smith’s ‘brain fade’ on DRS

“It was quite difficult to play with a bit up and down and cracks throughout the whole match,” said Smith. “There was an amount of rough from the start. It was quite difficult, but then Test match cricket isn’t supposed to be easy so...”

Smith also justified the couple of poor DRS calls his team made during the second innings.

“The umpires have to go make a lot of calls,” said Smith. “They’re there to do a job as well as they can and everyone makes mistakes. “It’s a difficult pitch to umpire on and you’ve got to be smart with your referrals.”

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