We Have Tools To Counter Ashwin, Says Smith Ahead Of First Test


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)

Published: Tue 7 Feb 2023, 8:31 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Feb 2023, 8:32 PM

Australia vice-captain Steve Smith may have done a week's simulation of Ravichadran Ashwin's doppleganger Mahesh Pithiya but he is not overthinking about the star India spinner's impact in the Border Gavaskar Trophy beginning in Nagpur on Thursday.

Australian batters have been focussed on tackling the spin threat and there is a team of Indian net bowlers who is helping the visitors prepare for the four Test series.

Is Australia over-thinking about Ashwin?

“There has been many off-spinners we played and Mahesh is one of them. He bowls a similar style (to that) of Ashwin. We are not overthinking things. Ash is a quality bowler but we have the tools in our kit bag to counter that,” Smith told reporters during a media conference.

He has had a look at the pitch and good length spot at the far end looks pretty dry.

“Pretty dry, particularly one end. I think it will take a bit of spin, particularly the left-arm spinner taking it into our left-handers. There's a section there that's quite dry,” he added.

But Smith also said that he won't be over reading the track.

“Other than that, I can't really get a good gauge on it. I don't think there will be a heap of bounce in the wicket, I think it will be quite skiddy for the seamers and maybe a bit of up-and-down movement as the game goes on.

“The cracks felt quite loose. I'm not entirely sure – we'll wait and see.”

Smith seemed pretty happy with the preparation.

“We had a few good sessions in Bangalore and now here as well. The boys are shaping up well. I think it will be a bit skiddy, slow but not entirely sure,” Smith said.

However, he did also confirm that Cameron Green isn't in a position to play.

'He hasn't faced even the fast bowlers so he's very unlikely to play the first Test,' he said

He also indicated that Scott Boland's natural length will suit the surfaces in India.

'(Josh) Hazlewood injury is a big loss for us, but Lance (Morris) is a good bowler. Boland has been good. His natural length will suit this kind of pitch. Lance obviously has a pace in the air,' Smith said.

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