November 2, 2017 8:03:02 pm
Australia captain Steve Smith said that he was mentally drained by the time Australia played the final Test of their India tour earlier in 2017. Australia had won the first of the four match Test series but went on to lose the second and fourth to concede a 2-1 defeat. Smith was the highest run scorer in the series, clocking three centuries and 499. The last of those tons came in the fourth Test. “I think I was in such good form and seeing the ball really well. I’d done a lot of batting in that series and even leading up to the last Test match, I hit an unusually low amount of balls before the game, because I just wanted to get in the middle and give everything I had left,” said Smith in an interview with ESPN Cricinfo.
“I was very mentally fatigued, and it was just about seeing the ball and hitting the ball in the last Test match, and not thinking too much,” he said, “I think at one point I hadn’t made 10 [yet] and I hit Umesh Yadav over cover for four, something I wouldn’t normally do in a Test match. It was a little bit bizarre. I was still fortunate enough to get a hundred. I wish I had a bit more in me to get a big score. I think that really would have helped the team, but I was so mentally drained that I just didn’t have anything left.”
It was an eventfull series and featured some heated moments between the two sides. Chief among them is when Smith look towards the Australian dressing room before going for a DRS call. It prompted his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli to go on a barrage later in front of the media and he stopped just short of calling Smith a cheat. “It was such a big Test match. If we won that game then we retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, would have been 2-0 up, so it was just like, “I don’t want to be out”. Pete (Peter Handscomb) probably didn’t help me much either coming down, and when you’re in a moment of desperation and someone says, “Why don’t you look up there?” your first instinct is just to look where he tells you. It was a mistake on my behalf and I apologised straight away. We got accused of doing it a lot, which is absolute rubbish. It was a brain fade on my behalf and an error. Hopefully I don’t have one of those moments again!”
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