Dharamsala: The sportsman’s spirit is all about playing hard, while the competition is going on, but it is also about forgetting it all, once the battle is over.
Asutralia captain Steve Smith exhibited this spirit perfectly, after the end of the fourth and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which India won by eight wickets, to clinch the series 2-1.
“I have been pretty intense throughout this series. I really wanted to do well for the team,” said Smith during the post match presentation ceremony.
Smith has been embroiled in a few controversies during Australia’s tour of India, with the visitors being accused of using illegal methods of opting for the decision review system (DRS) referrals.
Smith has also been involved in a bit of a war of words with his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli.
On Monday, a video clip of Smith’s reaction to a Murali Vijay catch went viral, where the Australia skipper seemed to have hurled an abuse at his opposition team members.
However, after the end of the series on Tuesday, Smith came up to the post-match presentation, to apologise for his actions. He said, “At times I have been in my own bubble and have let my emotions slip. I apologise for that.”
Despite everything happening around him though, Smith has been the one constant scorer for Australia; in fact, Smith was the highest run-getter in the series, scoring 499 runs, at an average of 71.28.
The 27-year-old commended India on the their brilliant performance during the topsy-turvy series, that has had everyone on the edge of their seats.
"Magnificent series. One of the best I have been a part of. Credit to India, they are a fantastic cricket side, particularly in their backyard,” he said. “If you give them a sniff, they will take that. For Australia, this is the toughest conditions for us. To challenge them so much, I am proud.”
When asked about where Australia lost the Dharamsala Test, Smith said that the second innings, where his side lost five top order batsmen for 92 runs, was the bturning point of the match.
“The middle session yesterday, when you lose five for 70, you put yourself behind. Credit to India. Umesh was fantastic. They have all been fantastic,” said Smith.
A number of former Indian cricketers had written Australia (they had suffered heavy losses to Sri Lanka away and South Africa at home) off. The likes of former India captain Sourav Ganguly and spinner Harbhajan Singh even went on to say that the Aussies would go on to lose 3-0 or 4-0.
However, the Kangaroos prepared themselves well, ahead of the series, with a training camp in Dubai, and came out all guns blazing, as they won the Pune Test by a massive 333 runs.
It has been an enthralling series from then on, and Australia have always been in the contest with India, all the way through.
“A lot of people wrote us off. They said it was going to be a 4-0 whitewash. I am proud of the way we have competed. We have probably let a few moments slip. Against India you can't do that,” said Smith....