ODIs will be played in good spirit, assures Steve Smith

The Australia captain declares his team will keep quiet in what will be “a hard fought contest” against India.

Australians train at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.   -  R. Ragu

Glenn Maxwell couldn't stop smiling as Aaron Finch tried showing him some golf stints. The two were chatting a bit at the hotel lobby on Sunday afternoon when the Australian opening batsman perhaps thought of giving his team-mate an idea of how to tee off in style.

After all, in a crucial India tour, the two would need to tee off well to get the Australians off to a flier. Finch's teeing-off, however, was all in the shadows and his team-mate couldn't help but laugh out loud.

Read: Umesh, Shami back for Australia ODIs

In his pre-tour address, even Australia skipper Steven Smith had a similar message - forget all the past and play in the right spirit.

After the on-field feud in their last meeting last March, the friends had turned foes, with tempers flying from both ends. But for the Aussies, it's all in the past now. "I think the series will be played in good spirit. It's always a hard fought contest against India and we are trying to face the challenges," Smith said. The Australia skipper, however, was quick to add that unlike the last tour, they would keep quiet and not react much in a bid to 'do well in the series'.

‘Tough thing’

"We know (Virat) Kohli would be dangerous, but we would remain quiet, that would help us to do well in the series," Smith said with a smile.

Both the sides have had decent build-ups to the series. India completed a rout in Sri Lanka and Australia bounced back well after initial struggles against Bangladesh in a two-Test series. But Smith made it clear that all these factors will have very little to do once the series gets underway next Sunday. "India has played some really good cricket and it would be tough playing them in India. Looking at the Indian team, it has some really good players. It would be another tough thing," Smith added.

On Sunday the national selectors rested Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the first three ODIs. Smith feels their absence won’t hurt India as it still has enough spin potential in its ranks. "It is a clearly different format from Tests. Axar Patel has been good for them. Chahal, and even Kuldeep Yadav has been good spin options. We have to play them throughout the series," he said.

‘Getting ready for run fest’

While he admitted that it would be tough to beat India at home, Smith remembered how flat the wickets were during Australia’s last ODI series in India in 2013. "It was a run fest. The wickets were flat... We are getting ready for that," Smith pointed out.

While he was not too bothered about his young brigade being suspect against spin, Smith hoped the ball won't turn as much as in the Tests. "The one-day side plays spin well. The youngsters are learning after a challenging Bangladesh tour," he added.

With coach Darren Lehman back in Australia after the Bangladesh tour to focus on the Ashes, the team will be looked after by assistant coach David Saker, and Smith feels it will be a good experience. "We knew some six months back that Darren would be on a break after the Bangladesh tour. So, we are looking forward to working with Saker," the skipper said, adding that spin coach Shriram's advise too has helped the bowlers.

While a few of the team members trained at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday morning, most decided to relax a bit before getting back to work from Monday. In a hot and sultry Chennai, Aussies would be hoping for some cool showers, albeit on the field!