Collapse 'not ideal", total decent: Smith

Rob Forsaith
·2-min read

Steve Smith has defended his batting colleagues for folding in a collapse of 4-46 that scuppered Australia's hopes of posting a mammoth total in the third Test against India.

Smith's 131 helped his side fashion a first-innings total of 338 at the SCG.

The former skipper, who entered the fray at 2-106 then watched wickets tumble quickly after Marnus Labuschagne fell for 91, could be excused for wondering what might have been possible if he had a little more support.

Cameron Green, Tim Paine and Pat Cummins contributed a single run between them, while it was Matthew Wade's ugly dismissal for 13 that started Friday's slump.

"Not ideal," Smith told reporters.

"But guys aren't trying to get out are they? They're trying to do their job.

"It wasn't great but we keep moving forward.

"Obviously Jasprit (Bumrah) bowled pretty well with the new one, getting Greeny with a nice one, and Tim as well."

Smith, speaking after India finished 2-96 at stumps on Friday, still felt confident that his side had sufficient runs on the board as they pursued a 2-1 lead in the four-Test series.

"It's a decent total. It would have been nice to score a few more, you always want more," he said.

"It's a bit up and down, the wicket.

"We've seen a couple of balls have kicked up off a length, a couple have shot low.

"The boys bowled pretty well ... it could have easily been three or four (down)."

Ricky Ponting and Mark Waugh were among the commentators to criticise Wade's loose stroke that led to his downfall.

"It's the art of batting," Ponting said on Seven.

"Being positive but not being reckless.

"Wade needs to have a lot more game awareness."