Batsmen to blame for Australia defeat - Smith


Australia captain Steven Smith laid the blame for the eight-run defeat to New Zealand in their first World Twenty20 Super10 outing with the side's batsmen.

The Black Caps lost eight wickets as they set a target of 143 in Dharamsala, but Australia could not capitalise in the chase and suffered a collapse low down the order when they lost five wickets for just 34 runs in the final five overs.

However, it was the middle of the innings that frustrated Smith the most, ruing their lack of strong partnerships.

"I thought around 150, 155 was probably par but we just didn't bat well enough after seven overs up to about 15," said skipper Smith.

"We kept losing wickets in clumps and we weren't able to get any partnerships together. We've got a lot of power at the back end but it's no use if we don't have the wickets in the shed to use it.

"I think we did pretty well to restrict them to 143. I think the batters are to blame for this one.

"When the ball got a little bit older it chewed up pretty quickly and you could see there was a lot of spin and that's always difficult to play.

"But credit to the New Zealand bowlers, they got the ball in the right places and made us play some pretty average shots.

"For us it's about finding our way in the seventh to 15th overs, trying to build a few partnerships. It might not be about trying to clear the fence, it might be about getting lots of singles and getting off strike and lots of twos. It's something we haven't done so well and we didn't do it well again."

Australia's second Group 2 match is against Bangladesh at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday and Smith expects a positive response.

"We're still confident. We've got to turn it around with our next game in Bangalore. Hopefully we can come out and win in a couple of days' time," Smith added.