Smith: Average shots in the middle overs


Australia captain Steve Smith put the blame squarely on the batsmen after his side went down by eight runs to New Zealand in their opening World T20 game on Friday.

The Aussies needed 143 to win on a slow surface in Dharamsala and got off to reasonable start with openers Shane Watson and Usman Khawaja putting on 44 within the first six overs.

But the Kiwis fought back in the middle-overs as Australia's batsmen went for one big shot after the other to fall eight runs short of their target, ending on 134 for nine.

Smith said after the game: "I think when the ball got a little bit older, it chewed up pretty quickly and as you could see there was quite a bit of spin.  

"That's always difficult to play. Credit to the New Zealand bowlers, they got the ball in the right areas and made us play some pretty average shots.

"For us it is about finding a way between overs seven and 15, trying to build a few partnerships.

"It might not be about clearing the fence, it might be about getting a lot of singles, getting off strike, getting lots of twos, something that we haven't done so well and didn't do well again today."

Smith added: "I think its just about going out there and making sure we learn from our mistakes in this game. I think the way we play, we can win and lose games in the 7-15 overs."

Australia will look to bounce back from the defeat when they take on Bangladesh in Bangalore on Monday.