Former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif feels that Australia batsman Steve Smith’s knock of 131 off 132 balls in the third and final ODI against India in Bengaluru was a slow innings.
Given that Australia were batting first and had to defend a total against team like India that too in a Bengaluru wicket, Latif feels Smith should have taken 100 to 105 balls to reach his individual score of 131.
“80 runs in 80 balls is good, but when you score 131, you need to do it in 100 or 105 balls,” Latif said in his YouTube channel on Sunday.
The former wicketkeeper-batsman feels that Smith’s inability to increase the tempo of the match forced Australia to make changes in their batting lineup as Mitchell Starc was promoted up the order to play some big shots. However, Australia’s plan failed miserably as the southpaw was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja for a three-ball duck.
“Smith’s inability to accelerate and his slow partnership forced Australia to promote Mitchell Starc as a pinch hitter,” said Latif.
In the third ODI, Australia couldn’t capitalise on the strong platform, set up by a third-wicket partnership of 127 between Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. The guests lost five wickets in the last 10 overs and ended up with 286 for 9 — a below-par score at the Chinnaswamy surface which India chased down comfortably with seven wickets in hand.
“One has to give credit to Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah for their efforts in the death overs,” said Latif.