My stand with Mitch was crucial, says Smith

My stand with Mitch was crucial, says Smith
Australia’s stand-in skipper Steven Smith suggested that the sledging of Mitchell Johnson by some of the Indian players on Friday wasn’t a good idea. 

“It probably isn’t too wise, is it?” he asked when queried on India’s tactics against the paceman who hammed 88. “It was just outstanding the way he came out and batted in the first innings and took the bowlers on. I think it got them off their lengths a little bit and probably helped me out at the other end as well,” remarked Smith who was declared the man of the match for his century in the first innings.

Smith praised his team for the way it bounced back from being 257 for six, in pursuit of India’s 408, on the second day to win the match. He said his 148-run partnership with Johnson was the turning point of the match. “It wasn’t a great position to be in,” Smith said. “I don’t think those thoughts ever run through your head. I think it was just amazing the way Mitch came out and took the bowlers on from ball one. I think that was a big turning point in the game to get that partnership there with Mitch and just the whole tail – to get 500 runs in the first innings was crucial for us.”

Johnson followed up his good batting show with fiery spell on the morning of fourth day that spelt India’s doom. “He certainly turned it on today with that little spell, it really cracked the game open for us,” Smith noted. “All the bowlers, to be fair, produced the goods for us today. I think Joshy Hazlewood was outstanding, Nathan Lyon came on and did a job here and there and Shane Watson built some outstanding pressure throughout the game as well, so all the bowlers bowled beautifully in this game,” he offered.

The 25-year-old also hoped David Warner, who got hit on his left thumb by Umesh Yadav, and Mitchell Marsh, suffering from hamstring, will be ready for the third Test in Melbourne. “I haven’t actually spoken to Davey (Warner), he is a tough little character so I am sure he will be pretty eager to get stuck in on boxing day. Mitch Marsh was struggling a little bit yesterday and struggling a little bit with his running today as well. I think the physio and the doctor will make a decision in the next couple of days.”

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