New Delhi: The failure of Australia's top order with the bat was one of the main reasons why the men from Down Under were whitewashed by India 0-4 in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy which ended at the Ferozeshah Kotla here Sunday.
In almost every Australia innings, the highest score came from a batsman batting below No.6. However, stand-in skipper Shane Watson defended his batsman by saying that if Sachin Tendulkar can struggle, so can they.
"The top order tried whatever possible but sometimes you just end up playing a bad shot. The conditions and wickets were also tough. You have to consider that one of the greatest batsmen of all time Sachin Tendulkar also struggled in these conditions and our youngsters can be encouraged and take heart from the fact that it is not just them who struggled," said Watson in the post-match press conference.
Watson personally took responsibility for not performing in the series, his highest score being 28.
"I should have scored runs considering the amount of cricket I have played here, but could not. My role as a specialist batsman did not work. I wanted to contribute for the success of the team, being a senior and experienced batsman but could not perform and I personally take the blame for this. However, it is good to see Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle bat beautifully throughout the tour.''
Asked if 155 was a good enough target, Watson replied in the affirmative stating that he was confident even with India 20 runs away from victory.
"I thought we were definitely in the game with 155 as the target but things did not go according to plan. We were very close and one or two wickets earlier, we could have been in with a real chance. Even when India were 15-20 runs away I thought we could bowl them out as the wicket was playing tricks with some balls keeping low and some taking off," said the 31-year-old Queenslander.
Watson also lauded India opener Cheteshwar Pujara, who ended the series as the second highest run scorer and made a match-winning unbeaten 82 Sunday.
"Pujara batted really well and has done so throughout the series. He is on a roll and has been very impressive, playing with great concentration. I think he is a great future for Indian cricket."
Signing off, Watson concluded that this series was a learning experience for them and they can only look forward from here after an extremely disappointing loss.