Steve Smith Reveals Australia Isn’t Overthinking About R Ashwin
By CricShots - Feb 8, 2023 11:06 am
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Australia’s deputy skipper, Steve Smith said on Monday that Australia is not overthinking the prospect of facing off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of the much-anticipated 4-match Test series against India, starting February 9. Much was spoken about Australia flying in Baroda off-spinner Mahesh Pithiya, who has an action and bowling style similar to that of R Ashwin, for their 4-day training camp in Alur, in the outskirts of Bengaluru.

smith ashwin
Steve Smith

Videos of Mahesh Pithiya bowling to Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne at the nets at the KSCA Ground in Alur went viral as Australia practiced on simulated pitches that offered turns to the spinners. Australia had refrained from playing a tour match and Smith said it’s irrelevant to play a practice match on pitches that are different ones as compared to that of during the 4-Test series and instead opted to have a 4-day camp in Bengaluru.

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Notably, former India cricketers Wasim Jaffer and Irfan Pathan took jibes at Australia, saying R Ashwin already started dominating the minds of the visitors when videos of Mahesh Pithiya bowling to the visitors were shared widely online. The 21-year-old Baroda spinner came into the spotlight after a couple of training sessions with the Australian cricket team.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin

However, Smith played down the hype as during a media chat, he said, “Mahesh bowls similar style to that of Ashwin. We are not overthinking things. Ash is a quality bowler but we have the tools in the kit bag to counter that.”

R Ashwin has found a lot of success against Australia in the past. The off-spinner has scalped up 89 Test wickets in 18 games against Australia and was the star of the show when India won 2-1 at home in 2017, picking up 21 wickets in 4 Tests. He also troubled Australia in Australia in 2020-21, picking up 12 wickets in just 3 Tests.

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Ashwin has dismissed Smith 3 times in as many Tests. Meanwhile, Smith said he is feeling confident about his own game and looking forward to making the most of the opportunities that come his way. Notably, Smith was the stand-out batter from both sides in the 2017 series, scoring 499 runs in 4 Tests, including 3 hundred.

Steve Smith said, “I feel like I am in a good place in terms of batting heading into the series.”