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India Vs Australia ODIs: Visitors wary of spin threat

After the Bangladesh experience, Australia might be relieved that they don’t have to face R Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja.

Published: 11th September 2017 01:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2017 09:53 AM   |  A+A-

Earlier this year, Australia suffered a 1-2 series loss to India in the four-Test series. (Ashwin Prasath | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The last time the Australians were in India, earlier this year, the Test series witnessed a lot of acrimony. Steve Smith had a ‘brain fade’ episode and after the final Test, Virat Kohli said he wouldn’t be friends with the Aussies ever again.

Perhaps aware of that, Smith was diplomatic in his first interaction with the media, ahead of the ODI series starting on September 17. “I think it will be played in good spirit. It’s always a hard-fought contest against India and we’re excited by the challenge. Looking back to the last one-day tour of India, I wasn’t there in 2013, but it was a big run-fest on flat wickets. It could be the same again,’’ said Smith on Sunday.

In recent times, playing spin has been a problem for the Australians, but Smith insisted that’s the case only in Tests.

“The one-day group has played spin pretty well. Obviously, we are still learning in the Test format, just coming out of a challenging tour of Bangladesh. But one-day wickets will not present spin as much as some of the Test wickets.”

The Aussie skipper was perhaps not aware that the Chepauk pitch helps spinners, even in one-dayers.

“Australia have not played an ODI in Chennai for decades. They don’t know how it will behave. It generally helps spinners as the match progresses. They will get an idea of the surface in the practice game on Tuesday,” said a source close to the Australian think tank.

“Our focus will shift from Test to ODI mode. We will identify players keeping in mind the team announced by the Indian selectors. A loss in the first Test in Bangladesh hurt the team’s morale. In the second they did well to come back. It was satisfying and we are confident the team will do well,’’ added the source.

After the Bangladesh experience, Australia might be relieved that they don’t have to face R Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja. Smith underplayed their absence and said India had good bench strength. “Axar Patel has done well, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav is there as well. They have good spin options and we have to play them throughout the series,” said Smith.

He stated that the absence of coach Darren Lehmann, who has taken a break, will not have an adverse impact. “There are no issues. David Saker (coach for the series) has been with us for a while. It was announced about six months ago that Darren was going to take a break and Saker was going to take over. We are looking forward to working with him for this tour,” replied Smith.

Ashwin, Jadeja out

As reported by Express, Ravichandran Ashwin was left out of the squad for first three ODIs.

Squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.

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This is the second time India is playing against Australia in a One-day International in Chennai. The last instance was October 9, 1987, when India lost by 1 run.

ashok.v@newindianexpress.com



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