Edited By: Aditya Maheshwari
Last Updated: February 08, 2023, 07:18 IST
Ravichandran Ashwin vs Steve Smith will be a match-up to look out for in the upcoming Test series between India and Australia (AFP Image)
Ravichandran Ashwin vs Steve Smith is going to be one of the key battles to look out for in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Talismanic Australia batter Steve Smith opened up on the challenge against Ravichandran Ashwin in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy, starting from February 9 in Nagpur. Ashwin troubled Smith the last time when India and Australia clashed in the Test series. The veteran off-spinner got the better of the Australian vice-captain thrice during the 2020-21 series.
Australia have included Mahesh Pithiya in their net bowlers’ list for their preparations to tackle Ashwin as the Baroda spinner has a similar action to the Test veteran.
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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.
The surface of first Test match between India and Australia is expected to be a rank turner and India are expected to play three spinners in the XI.
Australian batters have been focused on tackling the spin threat and there is a team of Indian net bowlers who are helping the visitors prepare for the four-Test series.
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.
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Talking further about the Nagpur pitch, Smith suggested that there won’t be much bounce for the pacers but they will get some movement.
“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.
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