Australia's reliance on Smith exposed in India
Australia's over-reliance on Steve Smith during overseas tours has been exposed in the worst possible fashion in India.
A Smith-led Australia went close to securing a shock Border-Gavaskar series win in India six years ago.
On that 2017 tour, Smith smashed 499 runs at an average of 71.28 with three centuries as India prevailed 2-1 with a win in the fourth and final Test.
But on Australia's eagerly anticipated return to India, Smith has been cut down by the hosts' spin sensations Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Smith scored just nine as he was part of a collapse of 8-28 on Sunday as Australia crumbled in a humiliating 90-minute "car crash in slow motion" in the second Test in Delhi.
The tourists are 2-0 down in the four-Test series and their hopes of regaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy are already over.
Australia's batting coach Michael Di Venuto said Smith would be bitterly disappointed to only have scored 71 runs at an average of 23.66 during this series.
"He got knocked over in the first innings here (in Delhi) and played an unusual shot for him in the second," Di Venuto said.
"Just when the game was set up for our best two players of spin - Marnus (Labuschagne) and 'Smudge' (Smith) at the crease in that situation with the field back.
"It was unusual, I havent' spoken to him about it yet or exactly where he's at, he's away for a couple of days at the moment.
"He's excited about these conditions, he loves these conditions, it would be a frustrating for him at the moment that he hasn't had the impact he would have liked."
Di Venuto conceded Smith getting out in such bizarre fashion could have had an impact on the rest of the players.
"He was certainly disappointed when he got out and he made it known that it was a poor shot in the dressing room," he said.
"I think most people would have heard that, they should have had a fair idea of what not to do.
"It was just one of those moments in the game when you're under pressure from world-class bowlers, things happen sometimes, it's unusual for him."