Australia national cricket team skipper Steve Smith is considered thorough in his preparation, and that has seen him race to the top of the ICC rankings for Test batsmen.
Steve Smith was part of the team that imploded famously on the 2013 tour, and his first significant knock, 92 in the third Test against India national cricket team in Mohali where the one-match ban to four players over their role in the ‘Homeworkgate’ affair made his role as batsman more prominent.
After leading from the front in first Test in Pune with a brilliant second innings century on a dry, turning pitch to set up the 333-run victory over India, the Aussie skipper urged his batsmen to take the way they adapted to another level in Bangalore.
SMITH AT HIS PEAK
Australian media reported how Smith, 27, felt he was ‘in the zone’ during his knock of 109, becoming only the third Australia batsman to score a second innings century in India.
Only Mark Taylor (skipper then) on the 1998 tour and Damien Martyn in 2004 -- when Australia ended a 35-year wait to win a Test series in India -- had managed that before Smith. Five of Smith’s 18 centuries have come against India, from just seven Tests.
Smith’s team had arrived well prepared during their training stint in Dubai, and he indicated more attention to detail by pointing out that big first innings scores have been the feature at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
ADAPTING TO SLOW PITCH
The pitch is expected to be drastically different from the Pune surface, and gradually aid spinners as the match wears on. But Australia will stick to the same eleven which played in Pune, with opener Matt Renshaw having recovered after suffering a stomach bug during the first game.
“First innings runs are going to be crucial, bat well for a period of time, post a big first innings score. That is what I make of it at this stage,” Smith told the media on Friday.
He urged his players to continue adapting to the conditions.
“We have to start again here,” he said. “It looks like it is going to be a different wicket. We have to win one more game to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy,” added Smith.
LOOKING TO BAT TIME
“Things can happen pretty quickly here in India at certain times, to get back into the game, and we could only be a couple of sessions into the game. We have to come into the game with the mindset of adapt to this wicket. That is going to be crucial,” elaborated Smith.
“It’s about the mindset of batting for a period of time. The last wicket we played on, we thought 250 was a very good total. In this occasion, it’s going to be crucial to score big runs in the first innings, and trying to bat for long periods of time and posting some big partnerships.”
Both Australia and India are clashing after a hectic home season. Australia bounced back after a home series defeat against South Africa which led to a number of changes in the side, going on to defeat Pakistan. India will be playing their 10th Test in the current home season.
“Anytime you come up between Australia and india there is a fierce sort of rivalry. It doesn’t take much to get up to that sort of occasion. Playing their 10th Test is a whole lot of cricket. We played a lot as well, with a lot of one-dayers at the back end of the season,” said Smith.
“But it isn’t really an excuse to perform badly or anything like that.”