Steve Smith

AUS vs IND: The game is in a nice place for us, says a confident Smith ahead of Day 5


Steve Smith admitted that it was only fair that an enthralling Test series between India and Australia was pushed to the last day of series. Australia, who have been a dominant side at home, much like their opponents, have run into an inspired Indian team this time around. The Indian team has sprung up new heroes every match in spite of several injuries.

Steve Smith insisted that the bowlers will have to bowl the right lengths if the hosts were to bowl out the Indians on Day five. “I think the wicket’s certainly different to what it is in Sydney,” Smith said. “There’s a bit more happening here. We saw a few balls shoot up today, a couple kept a bit low, a couple went off cracks which is always playing on the batters’ mind. For us it is about hitting the good areas and being nice and patient,” he said.

Australia started Day Four on the front foot, scoring about four runs an over, before Siraj and Shardul Thakur brought the visitors back into the match. The hosts were bowled out for 294 runs, setting India a target of 328 runs.

“Look I don’t know, it’s hard to know with the rain coming. We’re certainly not weathermen and don’t know that it’s coming so you have to play the game as you see it as well,” he said. “I think the game’s in a nice place for us. The wicket has started to play few tricks today, a couple of balls shot up. The Indian players have obviously batted well. In Sydney… I don’t know how many we bowled there, 130 or something [131]. So tomorrow I think it’s just going to be about bowling good areas and letting the natural variation of the Day 5 wicket sort of do its work. And hopefully we can hold on to all the chances.”

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Hopefully he will be good to go tomorrow: Smith on Starc’s injury

Mitchell Starc suffered a bit of hamstring soreness on Day four of the Test. However, Smith expects the Starc to play a vital part on the final day, given his fighting mentality. If Starc plays no further part in the match, the likes of Cameron Green and Nathon Lyon will have to play more of a role on Day five.

“He [Starc] was grabbing at his right hamstring I think it was. So I’m sure he’ll get it assessed by the medical staff. One thing I know about Mitchell is that he is tough. He’s played through some injuries before and got the job done and he’ll be, hopefully, good to go tomorrow.

“There’s a nice crack I think forming outside the right-handers off stump that you’d probably be looking to aim at I assume. It’s a nice line. I think if he [Lyon] hits good areas consistently tomorrow, there’s certainly no reason why he can’t create some chances on a Day 5 wicket, that’s for sure.

“And I think tomorrow Green might actually be quite a handful with the ball with that extra bit of height and those cracks coming into play. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him, first to take his first wicket in Test cricket which I know he’s pretty eager to get. But I think he might be in for a pretty reasonable day,” he added.