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We did not grab our chances - Steven Smith

Steven Smith reacts after getting dismissed in the second innings of Dharamsala Test
Steven Smith reacts after getting dismissed in the second innings of Dharamsala Test

Australia captain Steven Smith rued the opportunities that his team missed in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar series that was reclaimed by India following their eight wicket win in the final Test in Dharamsala.

After a resounding win in the first game in Pune, Australia started the second Test in Bengaluru with a crucial 87-run first innings lead but Cheteshwar Pujara's 92 along with fifties from Lokesh Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane helped India fightback and post a target of 188 runs for Australia in the final innings to which they were dismissed for 112 runs.

In the third game of the series in Ranchi, Australia posted 451 in their first innings and had India in deep trouble at 276 for four, only for Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha to stage a 199-run stand that exerted pressure back on the visitors. However, Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh played well on the final day to help Australia savage a draw.

"We can take a lot out of the way we played, the plans we had and the way we've done it," said Smith.

"But we just needed to do it a little bit longer at times and be a bit more consistent. We've certainly had our opportunities to win the games of cricket and we haven't taken those opportunities against a quality opposition like India.

"They will get back in the game and make you pay. From that aspect it's disappointing we haven't been able to take advantage when we have been in front. Having said that I am really proud of the boys for the way we have competed this series."

Even in the Dharamsala game decider, Australia won a crucial toss and were coasting away at 130 for one but Kuldeep Yadav's mystery caught the visitors in trouble and were bowled out for 300 runs which according to Smith was a decisive factor on a good batting surface.

"I'm not really sure at this present time, haven't really had the time to think about it yet. That can certainly happen here in India, you can lose wickets in clumps.

"That's what we talk about as a team, try and not do that. From that aspect it was disappointing that we did lose wickets in clumps.

"From being 1-130 to all out for 300 was a bit disappointing. That was an opportunity where we could've really driven the game, had we gone on to score 400-450 it could have been a different ball game.

"From that aspect it was disappointing that we weren't able to take advantage of being 1 for 130."

Despite losing the final by eight wickets and also conceding Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Smith said the team exceeded their expectation to perform in the tour and challenged India in every game of the series.

"Obviously right now, a bit of disappointment. We have fought very hard throughout this series and to fall over at the final hurdle hurts and the boys in the room are hurting.

"We have played a good style of cricket over here, we have competed in every Test match and for that I am really proud of the boys."

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