Ranchi, March 20 : Australian skipper Steve Smith on Monday said they were a few runs short in the first innings against India in the third cricket Test match here.
In the first innings, Australia were bowled out for 451 with Smith (178) and middle order batsman Glenn Maxwell (104) scoring handsomely for the cause.
“It was important to score big first-innings runs, we left ourselves a bit short there. 450 was not enough to win this match,” Smith, who scored 21 runs in the second innings, said after the match.
Trailing by 152 runs in the second innings, the middle order duo of Shaun Marsh (53) and Peter Handscomb(72 not out) forged a brilliant 124-run fifth-wicket stand as Australia ended at 204/6 in the second innings. They denied the hosts any chances of gaining a 2-1 lead in the four match series.
Smith also backed the players for performing to their abilities and not letting the hosts clinch the match on the final day.
“It was nervous and a pretty good test. I am very proud of the way the boys stuck it out. That’s what we want to be. Maxwell was sensational. That’s the way we want him to play,” Smith said.
“Pat Cummins, in his first game in a very long time, he bowled beautifully. Not too often you spend 210 overs in the field. It was a long two days. The boys really dug deep. I am really proud. Massive game (left) in Dharamsala, can’t wait to get there,” he added.