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Haddin defends captain Smith’s tactics in third Test


Sydney, Jan 1: Australian vice-captain Haddin said Thursday Australia had “earned the right” to take no risk in the drawn Third Test and sew up the Border-Gavaskar series – defending skipper Steven Smith’s tactics at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Smith decided to bat till lunch on the fifth day despite building up a sizable lead, giving his bowlers only 70 bowlers to dismiss India. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led visitors were reduced to 142 for six in 55 overs. India then improved to 174 for six in 66 overs when the young Australian skipper accepted the draw.

Smith, 25, later defended his move, saying his bowlers were tired and the pitch was unresponsive in their push for victory.

But the experienced wicketkeeper said Australia will be single-minded on achieving victory in Sydney.

“We earned the right to play the way we did in Melbourne. We’ve played India totally out of the series. Come Sydney, if we get ourselves into that situation, it’d be different because we’ve taken India out of the series,” he was quoted as saying by news.co.au.

“We knew exactly where the game was going, what path it was, and we were very happy with where it ended up with a series win. We’ve won a series, now it’s to Sydney to shut it out.”