First innings will be crucial: Smith

First innings will be crucial: Smith
The manner in which Australia got the better of India in the first Test should give them immense confidence going into the Bengaluru game. However, skipper Steve Smith downplayed suggestions that his team had an upper hand over the hosts, considering India’s strong track record at home.

“We know that India are going to come back hard at us. They have played very well at home. We have to start again and start from ball one here. We are going to take a lot from the way we played in the last match. They were some tough conditions but the way the boys adapted to them were spot on,” said Smith here on Friday.

 The visitors, especially in their batting, showed better adaptability compared to India in the first Test. Smith asserted that adapting to the surface, once again, will hold the key.

“It looks like we will be playing on a different wicket. We know that we have to win one more game to clinch the Border-Gavaskar trophy and I think it can happen very quickly here in India especially in the back end of the game. We can only be a couple of sessions away from winning. So obviously we have to come into the game with that mindset and we need to adapt to the wicket,” he noted.

Barring the last game between India and South Africa here at the Chinnaswamy in 2015, four of the five previous Tests have lasted five days. Following a two and a half-day finish in Pune, Smith said Australia are mentally prepared to play five days. “I guess coming over here, we were looking at their latest series against England, where in the first innings there were some big runs scored and then the pitch deteriorated from there and the spinners came into play. Looking at this wicket, I think it will be similar to those games against England. First innings runs are going to be crucial,” he said.

 Smith said he is up for the challenge of playing in-form off-spinner R Ashwin. “Yes it’s nice to play against him and he is a quality bowler. I have told before also that he has bowled leg spin to me when I faced him in the nets. Couldn’t get many of his tricks there and it was a bit cagey.”

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