We are under no illusions, says Steve Smith ahead of India series

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We are under no illusions, says Steve Smith ahead of India series

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SportsCafe Desk

01/08/2017

Australian captain Steve Smith has said that they are very much aware of the difficulty of playing India in their own backyard ahead of the 4-match Test series in February. Meanwhile, coach Darren Lehmann stressed the importance of batting for longer periods as a key for success on Indian pitches.

Australia recorded a comprehensive 3-0 series victory over Pakistan at home on Saturday, but the Kangaroos' captain Steven Smith hinted that there will be no room for complacency in the side when they travel to India next month to play four Tests against the World No. 1 Test team. 

“It’s obviously going to be a very difficult series. We are under no illusions that it’s not going to be tough. We’re going to have to play some very good cricket if we want to compete over there. It’s going to be a great challenge and learning curve for this group,” Smith told the reporters on Sunday.

Smith, who was a part of the team that toured India in 2013 and lost 0-4 to the hosts, said that the Indian pitches are unlike those in Australia.

“A few of us have been there before. We know it’s extremely difficult to play them in their own backyard. It’s a completely different place to play, playing on those wickets that are nothing like playing on the wickets here in Australia,” the 27-year old said.

Australia's head coach Darren Lehmann felt that they need to learn lessons from the Test series between England and India in order to perform well in the sub-continent.

“Batting long periods of time is going to be the key. I think (England’s) Alastair Cook summed it up really well on their tour, where they didn’t bat long enough. They got decent scores but they still didn’t bat long enough. That’s going to be the challenge for this group,” said Lehmann.

He further added : “We batted 135 overs in the first innings (in Sydney). We’ll need to bat for 150 overs plus in India to post a big total. It’s a great challenge for the young group. They’re fit and strong so they should be able to bat long periods of time.”

Lehmann didn’t divulge details when asked whether veteran opener Shaun Marsh will find a place in the squad for the Indian tour.

“It is a case of what’s the best line-up to win in India and compete. At the moment, you would say he would play but we have to sum up what the conditions are like, what the pitches will be like, how we will play everyone in the XI to give us a chance to take 20 wickets,” he said.

The first Test against India is scheduled to start in Pune on February 23.

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