Smith's blueprint for India

Australia arrived in India on Valentine's day ahead of their four Test series against the hosts which gets underway in Pune on February 23.

The accuracy of spinners R Ashwin (4-73) and Ravindra Jadeja (4-78) combined with pacer Ishant Sharma's (2-40) ability to reverse swing the ball helped India clinch a massive 208-run against Bangladesh in the one-off Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here in Uppal yesterday.

Jayant Yadav would be the obvious choice to come in with Bhuvneshwar Kumar likely to drop out of the XI should this take place. Waugh said that Ashwin is the player the Australian team would need to overcome during its upcoming tour of India.

India captain Virat Kohli has said his fast bowlers' performance in the Hyderabad Test has raised his hopes that they can succeed on foreign soil. The senior players need to take that challenge to do well in India. Looking at the anticipation, one be can be rest assured that this is likely going to be one hell of a four-match Test series.

Speaking about the time spent in Dubai Smith said it was about fine tuning their approach to the game in dry and turning conditions. "We know that if we can pull something off and win a series here, we'll look back in 10-20 years and it'll be some of the best times of our lives". All have the benefit of knowledge gained on previous trips to Asia, and Starc's destructive efforts in Sri Lanka, where he lacked support, have not been forgotten. The fans are fanatical, there is a tsunami of support and if Virat and the boys start doing well then it is very hard to stay calm and concentrate. I think this team has come a long way.

"I look to push myself, throw myself around in the field so that other guys know that they also have to push for a wicket". There is a change in the way he is opening the batting and his redefined role is pretty incredible. Also, some of our spinners spent time in Sri Lanka a year ago and I think that's a good grounding for them. "It's all about us making sure that we are in the right mindset to succeed and if the guys want to get into those kinds of battles then go for it", Smith told reporters on Tuesday.

Smith's tourists have one warm-up match against India A in Mumbai from Thursday, before the first Test in Pune. The good thing about this Australian team is that we have players who have played in Indian conditions.

  • Rosalie Stanley