Steve Smith admits that communicating with the skipper on the field in India is difficult

“It’s probably more difficult [to make on-field suggestions to the captain] here than in Australia … [In Australia] You can change something at the end of an over… you have a little extra time,” Smith said. “Here, if I see something, it has to happen almost immediately because of the way the game is played; There is so much on each ball.

“It’s difficult in that way, but I just try to give as many suggestions as I feel like when I have a gut feeling. I feel like I understand these terms well, but it’s definitely more difficult to communicate. I generally play on Slip, Patty on Mid-Off – I can do hand gestures and things like that, but it’s not as easy as you’d like. So that can be difficult. But ultimately, my job is to make things as easy as possible and to help wherever I can.”

Smith’s proactive captain has been widely lauded since the tourists won by nine wickets at Indore, and he explained that he often changed courts on every ball, reacting to the Indian batsmen’s play and trying to disrupt their rhythm.

“I like to postpone things depending on what happens with the ball beforehand – that’s exactly how I like to do it,” he said. “Sometimes me and Petey [Handscomb] We’ve played games where wherever the ball goes, just move the next ball to that spot and go again.

“We basically called it ‘follow the ball’. That might sound a bit silly to some people. But the angles created outside of the wicket when a ball goes to a certain position, they might try to play it slightly differently on the next ball, which can lead to a different type of dismissal.

“It might have changed hers [the Indian batsmen’s] Think. For [Cheteshwar] Pujara, that man we used as Bat-Pad; He stopped an option to score and it felt like he [Pujara] played slightly differently from what you try on these surfaces. We’ve seen how quickly it can turn over when you get a wicket, it’s incredibly difficult to start [an innings].”

Australia will almost certainly enter with an unchanged XI from Indore, with Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green adding welcome balance to the side along with three spin bowlers Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy and Matthew Kuhnemann.


Smith said the prospect of a crowd of over 100,000 on the first day – as a show of pageantry for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he hosts his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese – promised to be unforgettable. He also saw the chance to end the streak 2-2 ahead of the Test World Championship final in June as a major boost.

“I think it would be a huge achievement for the group or any touring team to come here to India and win two Test matches,” Smith said. “Unfortunately we couldn’t do it earlier in the series and give ourselves a chance to win, but to pull the streak here would be a huge plus and positive for this group.

“I think it’s a good chance to be in a pretty cool vibe. A lot of the guys have never seen this stadium before, they came in today and it’s obviously huge. I think it lasts 130,000. If we come up with that number anywhere, it would be incredible.

“We know how loud some of those reasons are here in India. So when there are more than 100,000 out there, it gets pretty loud. And it would really just be a great vibe and atmosphere out there to play in front of.”

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Ryan Sederquist

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