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Steve Smith & Co 'Scared' of Virat Kohli & Boys: Coach David Saker

Steve Smith & Co 'Scared' of Virat Kohli & Boys: Coach David Saker

A 4-1 loss in the ODIs have not gone down well with the Australian fans and they would hope for Steve Smith and his boys to come back strongly in the T20I series starting on Saturday. And stand-in head coach David Saker feels that the boys have been scared taking on Virat Kohli & Co in their own backyard and that has led to a poor show on the field.

New Delhi: A 4-1 loss in the ODIs have not gone down well with the Australian fans and they would hope for Steve Smith and his boys to come back strongly in the T20I series starting on Saturday. And stand-in head coach David Saker feels that the boys have been scared taking on Virat Kohli & Co in their own backyard and that has led to a poor show on the field.

“It’s not mainly personnel, I think it’s mainly just their mindset and where they are in their games. A lot of them are playing a little bit scared, which we try not to do. We try and make sure they play with a lot of freedom and express themselves as much as they can. But when you’re losing, you play scared, you go insular and you start looking after number one. I think there’s little bits of that. It’s not dramatic and we know we can fix that. I think the talent is there," Saker told cricket.com.au.

Smith and boys have not played well away from home and with the 2019 World Cup less than two years away and teams looking to prepare for the showpiece event, Saker feels that the Australians too need to start preparing and must look at the areas of concern.

“Obviously, our away form has been quite dreadful so we have to have a look at that. The next World Cup is away (from home). I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom, I think there’s some talent in that team. But there’s no doubt we have to probably re-jig a few things and see where we’re at," he said.

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T20 players like Jason Behrendorff, Dan Christian, Moises Henriques, Tim Paine and AJ Tye have started to arrive in India while the likes of Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner and Hilton Cartwright have headed home and Saker feels that a change in the squad could well help bring in fresh confidence and change the body language of the squad.

“Bringing almost half the squad in who haven’t been here for the four weeks so far is going to be exciting, and exciting for them. In Twenty20 cricket we’re definitely going to go out there (to) express ourselves and have some fun.

“After a long tour, India can sometimes get you down and wear you down but getting five or six new guys into the squad after what’s happened in the one-day series, we’ll be really determined to bounce back," he said.

Australia T20 squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Jason Behrendorff, Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Kane Richardson, AJ Tye, Adam Zampa.