Prior to the beginning of the ODI series, Steve Smith had said that he has found something in his hands during the practice sessions. Little that the Indians had realized that it was a signal of what was to follow. Just like the first One-day International, the former Australian captain once again displayed just why he is India’s nemesis No.1 across all the three formats of the game.
After having smoked a 62-ball hundred in the opening game, Smith did an encore of it in the second game to once again help Australia bury the Indians under a mountain of runs.
The platform was once again established by the opening duo of Aaron Finch and David Warner, who stitched a 144-run-stand. But, really, it was the sustained assault by Smith that knocked the stuffing out of the Indian bowling attack; so much so that Virat Kohli had to resort to Hardik Pandya, who prior to the second ODI had said that he would not rush himself into bowling.
But given Steve Smith’s takedown of India’s lead bowlers- be it pacers or spinners- a desperate time called for desperate measures. And, the move to bring Pandya into the attack proved it to the hilt. Smith looked like a chip in his brain of the field setting and according to that, he absolutely toyed with the Indian bowlers; the fact that the Indians erred in their lengths on a consistent basis helped his cause immensely.
Nevertheless, it was a batting masterclass of the highest order by Smith, who now has three hundred in his last five innings against the Indians. Needless to say that the former Australian skipper was adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’
Here is what Steve Smith said in the post-match conference-
‘I felt good from ball one. Got myself in and went hard. It was another great foundation set by Finchy and Davey. That enabled myself and Maxi to go hard at the back end. It’s just summing up conditions and what’s in front you.
”Against India, you need to score big totals. It was just about taking the game on. Fortunately, it’s come off in the last couple of games. I tried to whack the ball a bit too hard in the IPL, now I have started to hit the ball with a bit more finesse which is probably working better for me. I’m just playing nice cricketing shots. It (records) doesn’t bother me, nice to score some runs again for the team and get us to a good total. The boys were outstanding in the field as well. The guys bowled really well and yeah, nice performance,” he added.