Going against Australia fully aware of their strengths, weaknesses: Kohli

Going against Australia fully aware of their strengths, weaknesses: Kohli

And he said you need to prepare beforehand for R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and "the other spinner they are going to choose tomorrow". It is believed that if pitches help the batsmen, then Australia can give India a run for their money, else they will be whipped again. Whether it is just panic or not will be known only on Thursday.

"I have been watching a lot of footage of Ashwin, the way he goes about it, his different release points", said the Aussie off-spinner here on Tuesday. As Malcolm Knox wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald: "Get Kohli".

"It's all about us making sure that as individuals we're in the right mindset to go out and succeed and if guys want to get in those kinds of battles then go for it", declared Smith in his first press conference in India.

While India faced the pace of Trent Boult, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Taskin Ahmed et al., none of them possessed the lethal combination of pace and swing like Mitchell Starc.

The radical ploy of playing a third specialist spinner, possibly at the expense of gun seamer Josh Hazlewood, is not out of the question.

It is time he paid the selectors back for the faith they have shown in him.

"You've still got to play well if you win a toss".

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I reckon Warner will score plenty of runs for us but it probably won't be enough.

"Our wickets just don't turn", he says.

"He has really taken his game to the next level and that's why he is counted among the top bowlers in world cricket and deserves to be there because he has worked really hard and the results are evident". This time of the year when the summer comes in, the wicket tends to get slower and lower. Yes, that can sound like "A quick five wickets and we're back in the match".

Without the huge advantage that batting first gave you earlier, and with days two and three still offering good batting conditions, it is batting on day four that is creating problems for visitors, where maybe exhausted minds are leading to more erratic application. On good wickets, he will have a lot of bowling to do and the manner in which Smith handles him will be very interesting to watch. As a leader of the team, we want to do well.

"We don't tend to focus too much on our oppositions". We have come here with a positive mindset. Everyone feeling confident, that's the most important thing. "We will have a good look on the morning of the game and hopefully the ball will fly around". It has been quite hot for February in Pune, and the mercury has only one direction to travel in the next month: up. In that aspect, I think complacency goes out of the window as captain. The academy has six indoor practice pitches - two created to be spin-friendly, two which assist fast bowling and two which are batting paradises. "That is a pretty natural selection".

If Steve Smith was asked what he wanted to do in Pune, Bangalore, Ranchi and Dharamsala it would be an vast boost to Australia's hopes of upsetting India in the four-Test series that starts on Thursday. They were whipped in both Sri Lanka (3-0) and in the UAE (2-0) not long ago. This series - with lesser spinners at his disposal compared to India's - is his big test as captain. Instead it is the Marsh brothers, Smith and Warner who shape as Australia's best bets with the bat. "We are playing on the same wickets as they are, so there are no excuses", he explained. I am not going to tell you what is that, because the whole world will read it.

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