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3rd Test: It was a complete performance in the end, says Steve Smith after emphatic win

Indore, March 3 (IANS) Australia’s stand-in captain Steve Smith said his side produced a complete performance by the end of the third Test at Holkar Stadium, which they won by nine wickets.

In Australia winning the Indore Test, Matthew Kuhnemann and Nathan Lyon shined with five-fer and eight-fer respectively while Usman Khawaja made a fine 60 in the first innings to give the visitors an 88-run lead.

In chasing 76, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne slammed unbeaten knocks of 49 and 28 respectively to complete a comprehensive nine-wicket victory and qualify for the WTC final as well as make the series scoreline 2-1.

“I think obviously that first day, losing the toss and having to bowl first. But our bowlers did really well, specially Kuhnemann. All our bowlers contributed. With the bat, Usman was really good in the first innings.”

“We had some good partnerships. India bowled really well in the back end, we had a bit of a collapse. We had to toil hard yesterday, Pujji (Cheteshwar Pujara) played a good knock, but all our bowlers did really well. It was a complete performance in the end,” said Smith in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Smith, who took the captaincy as regular skipper Pat Cummins went home for personal reasons, further said he enjoyed captaining Australia in the Indore Test.

“We are thinking of Patty back home, our thoughts are with him. But I really enjoyed this week. I like captaining in this part of the world. I think I understand a lot of the intricacies.”

“It’s a place that I really enjoy and I think I did a reasonable job this week. The approach will be much the same. We have to see what the conditions are like. It’s good to be in the WTC final but it’s just about playing good cricket. Hopefully, we can finish the series well.”

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who was adjudged Player of the Match for his 8-64 in India’s second innings, stated that belief in his variations was key in putting Australia on the path to victory.

“It’s been a pretty remarkable series. But to come out here and put out a good team performance was pretty special. I don’t have all the skills and all the tricks in the trade but the one thing I have is the belief in my stock ball.”

“And I think if you have that, you can get success. I don’t think I’ve mastered it. I’ve been lucky enough to challenge against some of the best players to play the game, the likes of Virat and Pujji and the rest of the guys. I just like challenging myself.”

–IANS

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