India vs Australia: Not worried by Virat Kohli’s ODI cricket records, says Steve Smith
The heat is rising ahead of Sunday’s first India vs Australia in Chennai. Steve Smith says he is here to win and not worried by Virat Kohli’s lofty ODI cricket recordsindia vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Sep 16, 2017 14:11 IST
Australia captain Steve Smith said he is not too worried if India captain Virat Kohli is running away with the top honours in ODI cricket. Kohli, Smith, Joe Root and Kane Williamson are the creme de la creme of this generation’s batsmen, but Kohli is proving to be something special in the 50-over format with 30 centuries in 194 matches. (FULL COVERAGE OF INDIA VS AUSTRALIA)
Of those centuries, 19 have come batting second, making Virat Kohli the batsmen with the most centuries in successful chases. Sachin Tendulkar held the previous record at 17. When asked why Kohli is quickly increasing the gap between him and the rest, Steve Smith chose to stay non-committal.
“I’m not sure. I think India play a lot more ODI cricket than we do. I’m not sure how many games Virat has played. Both Virat and Joe Root are very good players. I am not worried about personal accolades or anything like that. I am here to try and win a series,” said Smith at a press conference in Chennai ahead of Sunday’s first ODI.
“The Indian team has a very good top seven and all guys are capable of scoring big runs. Our bowlers have to be on the top of their game to keep them quiet this series,” Smith said.
Testing team combinations
With less than two years to go for the next cricket World Cup, this series should provide both teams some answers with regards to team combination. Steve Smith has done the calculations as well.
“We had a chat about it the other day. We have about 30 ODI games before the World Cup. For us it is about trying to find the right group of players to fill all slots,” he said.
“Hopefully this group can go a long way into filling those spots and play some really good cricket in the next five here and the one-dayers to the World Cup.
“As a team we want to win major tournaments and we are always looking ahead to ensure we are in the best possible position to do so. It is another step towards that,” he said.
Though preparing for the World Cup is still a long-term plan, there is no doubt in the visitors’ mind that they are here to win the ODI series.
“Conditions are obviously slightly different to what they will be in England. But I think it is a good opportunity to put their names up there and hopefully win some games for Australia. We are here to try and win the series. That is the main objective, said Smith.
Steve Smith, David Warner key
Smith is expected to lead the batting charge along with David Warner even though they will be missing regular opener Aaron Finch, who has a re-aggravated calf injury. There is a possibility Peter Handscomb, who has been flown in, could open the batting with Warner while Travis Head could come at No 4.
“I think it’s important for someone in the top four to go on and make a big score,” said Smith. “I think we have the guys to do that. It’s important in any country. We saw that the last time we came here in 2013 I think it was a run-fest where 350 was around par,” he said.
Smith however wasn’t completely sure if ‘run fests’ would be the norm across this series. “It’s difficult to say. Every ground is going to be different. I think it’s about summing things up quickly at every ground. I couldn’t tell you if it is going to be a run fest, it depends on pitches,” he said.
Smith said he will leave the team selection till Sunday morning after having a final look at the pitch. “There is no grass on it at the moment. It’s difficult to say how it is going to play. It is soft and pretty warm outside. It’s going to harden up pretty quickly. We will look at it tomorrow and make another assessment quickly,” he said.