Australia captain Steve Smith has lamented his side’s tendency to panic under pressure after another batting collapse put them 2-0 down in their one-day international series against India.
Set 253 for victory, the visitors lost their last eight wickets for 117 runs with a hat-trick to left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav sealing Thursday’s match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
After falling 50 runs short in the second of five ODIs, Australia now need to win Sunday’s match in Indore to keep the series alive.
“In regards to our batting, 250, we should be getting that on that wicket,” Smith said.
“It’s now about getting out in the middle and just executing your skills when you’re under pressure and not panicking.
“We’re just making silly errors when we’re under pressure and you can’t afford to do that against a quality line-up like India.”
Smith looked like he could guide Australia home in his 100th ODI, but after a measured half-century he was caught on 59.
Two overs after Smith’s dismissal, Yadav weaved his magic to dismiss Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins with consecutive deliveries.
Marcus Stoinis top scored with a gallant innings, but ran out of partners and was left unbeaten on 62.
Yadav (3-54) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2-34) again exposed Australia’s deficiency against wrist spin, combining for five wickets as they did in game one in Chennai.
Paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar was outstanding with 3-9 off 6.1 overs.
Maxwell (14) hit two sixes before he was bamboozled by Chahal and Dhoni pounced on the chance to stump him.
Openers David Warner and Hilton Cartwright both fell to Kumar for one, while Travis Head made a run-a-ball 39.
Earlier, Nathan Coulter-Nile was again Australia’s most damaging bowler, picking up 3-51 off his 10 overs in oppressive conditions.
The West Australian paceman again snared the prized scalp of Virat Kohli, but the Indian skipper had already done the damage with a beautifully compiled 92 off 107 balls.
A huge score loomed when he had combined for a 102-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane (55 off 64), but the opener was run out by Hilton Cartwright and India went on to lose their last seven wickets for 66.
“We didn’t feel like we had enough at the break,” Kohli said.
“(But) we knew if we had a good start, we had a chance.”
Australia felt the full force of the stifling Kolkata heat while bowling with Wade, Ashton Agar and Kane Richardson all receiving treatment for heat stress or cramps.