'Last time they served us a green top': Steve Smith's 'irrelevant' jibe on Indian pitches ahead of IND vs AUS series
Steve Smith, the recipient of the Allan Border medal, has insisted that the decision to skip tour games comes from his and the team's learning from the last India tour, where the BCCI served the touring party green pitches.
In less than 10 days, the world will witness the renewal of one of world cricket’s greatest rivalry as India host Australia for a four-Test series Border-Gavaskar Trophy. India, who have retained the trophy winning the last three Test series against Australia – once at home and twice on their soil – will be up for a stern Test as the Aussies are coming well prepared. Not only are the Australians landing in India with a heavily-stacked star-studded squad, they have ensured that the players ready for spin-friendly tracks which await them. Having left the Australian shores on Tuesday morning, the players underwent intense practice on pitches that were especially made in Sydney, instead of playing one-or two tour games in India.
Steve Smith, the recipient of the Allan Border medal, has insisted that the decision to skip tour games comes from his and the team's learning from the last India tour, where the BCCI served the touring party green pitches, a stark contrast to the kind of wickets the Test matches were played on. In 2017, when Australia last travelled to India for the BGT, they had lost the series 1-2, with Smith, who was the captain back then, terming the idea of a tour match 'irrelevant'.
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"We normally have two tour games over in England. This time we don't have a tour game in India. The last time we went I'm pretty sure we got served up a green top (to practise on) and it was sort of irrelevant. Hopefully, we get really good training facilities where the ball is likely to do what it's likely to do out in the middle, and we can get our practice in," Smith told the Daily Telegraph.
"We'll wait and see when we hit the ground. I think we've made the right decision to not play a tour match. Like I said, last time they dished up a green top for us and we barely faced any spin, so it's kind of irrelevant. We're better off having our own nets and getting spinners in and bowling as much as they can."
This will be Smith's third Test series in India having featured in the 2013 and 2017 series. Australia have not beaten India in a Test series on their soil since 2004, and Smith, who had a sensational the last time round scoring 499 runs at a brilliant average of 71.28, is ready to hit the ground running and change that trivia.
"It's certainly huge. I don't know if it's (winning in India) the final frontier. I've never won there, I've been there twice (for Tests), it's always difficult playing there. India and England – our two opponents over the next six months – are probably our biggest as an Australian Test cricketer. We've got some challenges in front of us, but the guys are ready for it," he pointed out.