Steve Smith's sad admission after series loss to India: 'Pretty upset'

The stand-in captain was left wondering what might have been after Australia's fourth-straight loss to India.

Steve Smith, pictured here Australia's series loss to India.
Steve Smith was left lamenting what could have been after Australia's series loss to India. Image: Getty

Steve Smith has once again lamented Australia's shocking collapse in the second Test in Delhi, which ultimately costs them their first series victory over India since 2004. The fourth Test finished in a dull draw on Monday, sealing India's 2-1 victory in the series.

It marked India's fourth-consecutive series win over Australia and extended the Aussies' winless run in India to 19 years. Speaking to reporters after the series finale in Ahmedabad, Smith was left to rue what could have been.

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The Aussies were comprehensively outplayed in the first Test and lost by an innings and 132 runs. However they appeared to be turning things around in the second match and gained a slender first innings lead.

But things went horribly wrong for the tourists when they lost 8-28 in an 'hour of madness' in their second innings, which allowed India to take a 2-0 lead and retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

The Aussies did manage to bounce back in the third Test and win by nine wickets. But a flat and lifeless pitch in Ahmedabad that offered little for the bowlers allowed India to secure the draw they needed to win the series and secure their place in the World Test Championship final.

"We really hurt after that game in Delhi," Smith said on Monday. "Guys were pretty upset with the way we went away from our methods in that game, it was disappointing,

"Obviously at that point we knew there was plenty to still play for in the series and guys responded really well. As a group we are proud of the way we bounced back and played some good cricket in the last couple of Test matches."

Smith also bemoaned the lifeless pitch in Ahmedabad, which was a stark change to the spin-friendly conditions that were produced for the first three Tests. “The wicket here was too flat for us to force a result," he said. “The spinners have bowled really well throughout.”

Steve Smith and Rohit Sharma, pictured here shaking hands after a draw in the fourth Test between Australia and India.
Steve Smith and Rohit Sharma shake hands after a draw in the fourth Test between Australia and India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

India captain Rohit Sharma also said Australia's collapse in the second Test was the defining moment. "We do understand the importance of this series and the opposition. Lot of hard work has gone into this," Sharma said.

“It was a fantastic series from the word go. We knew how important it was to start the series (on a winning note). I am also proud of the win in the Delhi Test. Different players put their hands up at different times.”

India coach Rahul Dravid added: "It was a really hard-fought series. There were moments where we were put under extreme pressure by a really good cricket team and we responded."

Fourth Test ends in draw as India win series 2-1

Australia started the final day's play still trailing India by 91 runs. But Travis Head (90) and Marnus Labuschange (63 not out) steered their side to safety as the match was called off early with neither team capable of securing a victory.

Australia made 480 in their first innings - their highest total of the series - with Usman Khawaja (180) and Cameron Green (114) scoring memorable centuries. But India batted even better, amassing 571 as Virat Kohli (186) broke through for his first century since November 2019 and young opener Shubman Gill made 128.

The last two Border-Gavaskar series have both ended in 2-1 scorelines to India. They won the last time they hosted Australia in 2017, while also securing memorable away series victories in Australia in 2018-19 and 2020-21.

Australia and India will meet again in June in the World Test Championship final at The Oval in London. The Aussies' next Test tour to India will come in 2027, with the likes of Smith, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc and Khawaja unlikely to return.

with AAP

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