Boxing Day Test: Nagging back injury not a problem, says Smith

Steve Smith had missed some training time in the buildup to the series opener at Adelaide and was still feeling "a little stiff" on Tuesday.

Steve Smith

Steve Smith of Australia poses for the shutterbugs during Day 2 of the first Test match against India at Adelaide Oval last Friday.   -  Getty Images

Australia batsman Steve Smith has no concerns regarding his nagging back injury ahead of the second Test against India, which starts on Saturday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Smith had missed some training time in the buildup to the series opener and was still feeling "a little stiff" on Tuesday, but the 31-year-old said he has been able to prevent serious flare-ups from the long-standing issue.

"It's just something I need to manage whenever it goes and I probably haven't had an episode since - I think it was - 2014 so hopefully, they can continue to be six years apart," Smith told reporters.

"If I'm moving around and laying down I'm good. If I sit around for too long it's not great for it, but I'm not worried about it.

"I think everything will be fine and I'll be good to go."

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Smith scored just one run in the first innings at Adelaide Oval and was one not out when Joe Burns hit the winning runs as Australia secured an eight-wicket victory over the tourist, which had been dismissed for a record-low 36 in its second innings.

But Smith has an impressive record at the MCG. In his seven Boxing Day tests, the right hander has scored 908 runs at 113.50 with four centuries and three other 50-plus scores.

At his home ground in Sydney, he has an average of 67.88, his next best at home.

"I like batting at the MCG," Smith said.

"There's nothing like the thrill and you get the shivers down your spine when you walk out to bat on Boxing Day with the crowd yelling, and it's like a dream come true in a way."

'Let it go and move on'

Smith has had no time to think about how India might plot revenge this weekend but he does have a friendly word of advice - "Let it go and move on".

"Look, the other day we just saw some pretty incredible fast bowling. It is probably the best I've seen our bowlers bowl collectively for about five years I think," Smith said.

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"The lengths they were hitting were just impeccable. Sometimes that happens, you get a good ball and you nick it... You got to let it go and move on and try and keep yourself in a positive mindset," he added.

Kohli's absence big loss

Talismanic skipper Virat Kohli will be unavailable during the last three Tests to be home for the birth of his first child with wife and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma.

"Obviously, it's a big loss for India, not having him (Kohli) for the rest of the series. We just have to look at the way he played in the first innings. That was a pretty class display against some good bowling on a wicket that was doing a bit.

"I just fist-pumped him and said 'Mate, safe travels, hope everything goes well with the baby, and pass on my best to your wife.'," Smith said.

Saini, Siraj quality bowlers

On star pacer Mohammed Shami's injury, Smith said India still has quality bowlers in Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj.

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"I think they're two quality bowlers who can have some good Test careers. Obviously they are missing Ishant (Sharma) as well, which is a big loss for them in terms of experience."

'Learnt my lessons'

Smith, deceived by a Ravichandran Ashwin delivery, in the opening Test asserted he has learnt his lessons.

"The spinners that do well here generally - those who get over the top of the ball and beat you with more bounce or in the air as opposed to ones that come around the ball.

"It's about finding a way to adapt and that's what the best players do around the world. I'll hopefully learn something from that, move forward and play a little bit better in the next game," he explained.

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