Steve Smith suffered a ‘horrible’ dismissal on Wednesday night as India managed to stave off a clean sweep and win the third ODI against Australia.
Glenn Maxwell played the shot of the summer and smashed a quick-fire 50, but conceded he should have guided Australia home to a series whitewash.
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Australia were left to rue their death overs with bat and ball in Canberra as they sunk to a 13-run loss in the final ODI.
Maxwell put the hosts in a position to win with a dominant 59 from 38 balls, before being bowled by a good Jasprit Bumrah (2-43) yorker in the 45th over.
Australia’s tail then capitulated, as they lost 4-21 to be all out for 289 in reply to 5-302, failing to find another boundary while Ashton Agar, Sean Abbott and Adam Zampa all fell.
Earlier, Smith suffered a rare failure after being caught behind down the leg-side.
After consecutive centuries in the first two games, Smith fell for just seven when he got a faint edge on a delivery down the leg-side from Shardul Thakur.
Commentators pointed out that it might just be the worst way for a batsman to get out and Smith would have been filthy with himself.
“The key batsman Steven Smith loses his wicket,” Brett Lee said in commentary.
“A horrible way to get out, probably the worst way to get out in cricket down the leg side.”
Fans were left stunned that Smith would fall in such fashion, considering the red-hot form he’s been in.
Think I went out 4 times in a row like this one season.
I'm no Steve Smith but it's an awful way to get out. https://t.co/Tbyf8epKMl
— Tim Michell (@tim_michell) December 2, 2020
Why does everyone think Steve Smith’s 7 is a failure? For me 7 is pretty good first half of the season.#AUSvIND
— Richard Hinds (@rdhinds) December 2, 2020
— Shoaib (@Shoaib15259041) December 2, 2020
Steve Smith looked unstoppable in the series and Shardul Thakur comes in, gets him to edge one down the leg side. Cricket is wild.
— Vinayakk (@vinayakkm) December 2, 2020
Glenn Maxwell heroics not enough
Maxwell’s knock included four big sixes, after he’d already struck 108 from 48 balls in the first two games of the series.
He launched two of those sixes off Ravindra Jadeja in as many balls, including one he pulled 108 metres to land on the roof of the Bob Hawke Stand.
But his best was a ridiculous 100-metre reverse sweep off Kuldeep Yadav that flew into the crowd.
However, he also unselfishly took the blame for a crucial run out of Alex Carey for 38, after they both went and Carey was sent back only for Virat Kohli to end their 52-run stand.
“I thought the changing point was probably the run out with Carey, which was probably 100 per cent my fault,” Maxwell said.
“I think we were six down at that stage so it makes it a little bit tougher because you know one mistake and it can all turn around pretty quickly.
“That was probably a key moment in the game that I probably stuffed up.”
Australia’s effort at the death was in contrast to that of India, who smashed 84 runs from the same five-and-a-half over period.
Hardik Pandya finished with an unbeaten 92 from 76 deliveries while Jadeja hit three sixes in his 66 from 50 balls.
Abbott (1-84) copped most of the punishment and went for 32 runs in one eight-ball stretch as Australia missed Pat Cummins (rested) and Mitchell Starc (side).
While the series was already over, the win will give India much-needed confidence ahead of the three-match T20 series starting Friday.
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