Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Sept. 22 (ANI): Australia skipper Steve Smith has admitted that his side have been making "silly errors" which they cannot afford to make against a quality side like India in the ongoing five-match series.
Smith had clearly stated how he wanted to celebrate his 100th ODI by scoring runs and see Australia win.
He did score runs, but he couldn't take his side over the line against India in the second ODI in Kolkata, as the home side proved its dominance once again with a 50-run win to go 2-0 up in the series.
"I think we are not watching the balls closely enough and backing the skills. The guys have trained and trained really well. It's now about getting in the middle and executing the skills when you are under pressure and not panicking as such," Smith said in the post-match press conference.
"I think we panicked in the last game a little bit and in this game, we just could not get the partnerships. We are just making silly errors, when we are under pressure, which we cannot afford to make like a quality lineup like India," he added.
The skipper further said that batting collapses had become a worrying trend in all forms of Australian cricket after losing their last eight wickets for 112 in game two.
"It's happening a bit too often for my liking, to be honest with you, in all forms of cricket," he said.
"We've had a lot of collapses and we need to stop. It's easy to just sit here and say 'it needs to stop', but when you get out in the middle you have to change what you're doing because it's not working.
After restricting India to a modest 252, the visitors lost its way with Smith waging a mostly lone battle that was never going to be enough to win the match.
The Australian captain scored a gritty 59 off 79 deliveries, but a clinical spell from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah early on, and crippling strikes from Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal afterwards, ended the visiting side's hopes of levelling the series.
Kuldeep even returned a hat-trick in the latter part of the chase, becoming only the third Indian to achieve the feat in ODIs, following in the footsteps of Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev.
"250, we should be getting that on that wicket. We made too many poor decisions again under pressure and we're not executing our skills well enough," he said.
The scoreboard read 9 for 2 at that stage, and it was clear that the chase was not going to be a simple one. Smith and Travis Head got together to see off the new ball, and they went about their business with acute patience.
There were hardly any risky shots in their third-wicket association of 76 off 73 balls, yet it helped diffuse the pressure and put the chase back on track.
Smith admitted that a lot of the blame fell on himself and Head.
"It was upon one of (the top four) to go on and make a big score and be there at the end," he said.
"Heady and I were the two who got in and we weren't able to do so, so a lot of the blame falls on us.We got a good little partnership together there ... if you turn that 70 into 140, the game's closed. We just weren't able to do it," he added.
Australia will have to ponder a lot and will have to come out with a magical performance to stay alive in the series when the two teams meet for the third ODI on Sunday at the Holkar Stadium in Indore. (ANI)