Steve Smith said he could have scored more runs at World T20.
Steve Smith said he could have scored more runs at World T20. Altaf Qadriaap

Selections not to blame for exit, says skipper

Captain Steve Smith blamed execution by the batsmen rather than the selectors after Australia's quest for a maiden World T20 title ended with a loss to India in Mohali.

A brilliant unbeaten 82 off 51 balls by Virat Kohli helped the home side pass Australia's 6-160 with six wickets and five balls to spare, setting up a semi-final clash against the West Indies, who topped Group 1 despite a shock loss to Afghanistan.

As it had done throughout the tournament, Australia's middle order failed to fire, with opener David Warner and Smith himself finishing with less than flattering numbers. After dropping down from his usual spot at the top of the order to accommodate Usman Khawaja, Warner managed a miserable 38 runs off 35 balls in the four group games, while Smith's total of 83 from 69 balls was boosted by an innings of 61 off 43 balls against Pakistan.

"I think we had the right mix. I think it was just some of our execution," Smith (pictured) said. "The middle overs is a part of our game that we've been trying to work on, and we know when we get that right that we're a dangerous side."

It's hard to criticise the selection of Khawaja, Finch, Warner and Smith, although choosing five all-rounders - Mitch Marsh, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner and Ashton Agar - instead of one more specialist batsman ultimately proved costly.

Watson, Maxwell and Faulkner held up their end of the bargain, but Marsh and Agar were left out for the final games after poor starts to the tournament.

Questions were asked about the non-selection of several batsmen, including middle-order players Chris Lynn,Travis Head, Michael Klinger and George Bailey who starred in the last Big Bash League - but Smith said he didn't think that contributed to the team's demise.

"I believe we had the 15 to go well in this tournament - we just let ourselves down in some key moments," he said.

The skipper was philosophical about the loss to India, saying he thought some more runs from he and Warner could have changed the outcome.

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