CHENNAI: Australia skipper Steve Smith has admitted that the upcoming limited over series against India, consisting of five ODIs and three T20Is, will be a tough one and will present a tough challenge to his team.
Australia are coming off what was a challenging Test series against Bangladesh which they somehow managed to level.
On the other hand, the Men in Blue are coming off a successful tour of Sri Lanka, wherein they whitewashed the hosts in all the three formats.
India completed an overwhelmingly successful tour of Sri Lanka, winning every international match – 3-0 in the Tests, 5-0 in the ODIs and 1-0 in the lone T20I.
“This is gonna be a tough tour. India have been playing some good cricket for a while now and they had a very successful tour of Sri Lanka. So, it’s going to be a good challenge for this (Australia) group. We are excited about it,” said Smith in a press conference on Sunday.
The series against Australia will begin with an ODI in Chennai on September 17, followed by matches in Kolkata, Indore, Bangalore and Nagpur.
When quizzed as to how the Australian batters would be tackling the Indian spin trio of Axar Patel, Yuzvender Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, Smith said, “It’s a completely different format to Test cricket. I think Axar Patel has done pretty well. Chahal is there in the squad and Kuldeep Yadav who is a good bowler. So, they certainly have got some really good spin options. We have got to play them well throughout the series.”
Earlier this year, Australia suffered a 1-2 series loss in the four-Test series. And a lot of times, there were some on-field incidents which spiced up the entire contest.
When asked whether the upcoming limited-overs series would witness such incidents, the Australian skipper said, “I think it will be played in good spirit. It’s always a hard contest playing in India. We are excited by the challenge of playing over here.”
In the last ODI series against the Men in Blue in India in 2013, Australia faced 2-3 series defeat in the seven-match series. And almost all the matches in that series turned out to be high-scoring ones.
The 28-year-old said, “I wasn’t there in the last ODI series in 2013 but it was a big run fest for memory. Pretty flat wickets and big totals. So, we will see what we are presented with but it could be the same again.”
India Squad: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhone, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvender Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami
Australia squad: Steve Smith, David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.