Smith disappointed by Kandy loss


Australia captain, Steve Smith, feels his team let themselves down as they crumbled to defeat against Sri Lanka on day 5 of the first Test in Kandy.

The Aussies found themselves in charge on day one, but a fighting century from Kusal Mendis coupled with Australia's weakness against spin saw them fold to a 106 run defeat.

Speaking after the loss, Smith said: "It is disappointing,

"I said before the game that we haven't played well in subcontinent conditions for quite a while now. It's something that under my captaincy I want to change. There were glimpses throughout this game that we've improved in some aspects but I think we just let ourselves down a lot as well.

"I generally play spinners quite aggressively. I've hit that ball for four or six several times throughout my career. I got beaten on the inside of the bat. It's just summing it up and making sure I play with a straighter bat if I'm trying to go over the top. I know it looked ugly and it probably didn't look great. For me, it's about making sure I still have that intent to score."

Smith realises Australia are in for more of the same in the second Test at Galle and talked up Jon Holland who will join up with the squad after Steve O'Keefe suffered a hamstring injury, ending his tour.

The skipper continued: "Galle is the biggest spinning place here in Sri Lanka, or so we've been told so it's going to play a big part again,

"Jon Holland is a class bowler, he's done pretty well in state cricket and having a left-arm orthodox bowler in these conditions is a must.

"He's accurate, he hits a good area and hopefully we can see some of the same as what we saw from Steve and Rangana, with some balls spinning and some balls skidding. It's incredibly hard to play against and I'm looking forward to him getting here and having a couple of days' preparation with us.

"He and I went to the academy together so we know each other reasonably well and I'm sure he'll fit in well around this group. There's always challenges when you're playing international cricket, especially away from home.

"He's going to have to get a game plan and the speeds that he needs to bowl together pretty quickly. We'll be working with him to make sure he gets that in and I'm really excited for him to join us."

Australia will need to find a way to cope with spin when the second Test gets underway on August 4.