Smith keeps 'verbal duels' an open option for team-mates

"Each of our individuals play the way they want to. If that means people want to get into a battle verbally and if that gets the best of out them, then they should go for it.," Smith said.

Steve Smith

Australia skipper Steve Smith attends a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday.   -  PTI

Australia team captain Steve Smith said it was up to the individuals to decide whether to go for verbal duels with the Indian players, or not, when the two outfits clash during the upcoming four-match series in India.

Much of his first interaction with the media along with coach Darren Lehmann at the C.K. Nayudu Room in Cricket Club of India focused on identifying India as a good team in home conditions, on his batsmen’s preparation against off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and other spinners, the Indian fast bowling attack and the significance of reverse swing.


Each of our individuals play the way they want to. If that means people want to get into a battle verbally and if that gets the best of out them, then they should go for it. It's all about us making sure as individuals, we're in the right mindset to go out and succeed. But in the end, it's about us playing on skill, and making sure that our skills are in the best place for us to succeed in these conditions.

Not coming down to wicket against spinners:

I did advance once at the start of the summer and got out LBW. So I decided to stay back in my crease a little bit. You can do that in Australian wickets which are pretty consistent with their turn and bounce. So, I have different game plans where I play, and how I play spin. That's going to change from playing at the WACA to the first Test in Pune. I'm pretty clear with the way I play.

Gameplan for in-form Virat Kohli:

Yes, we're trying to form a game plan, but I'm not going to tell you what it is. He's obviously a world class player and he's been batting extremely well. He's scored four double centuries in his last four series. So, he's obviously a big player for India along with some of their other batters. They're all batting very well at the moment, they've got a very strong top six. So, hopefully we can formulate some game plans to get on top of them.

Balance between defence and attack:

You don't want people to change their natural games. I think it's always important to be positive and look to score. The moment you just start defending, you're in trouble. So you have to have that mindset to look to score, but ultimately it's your defence that helps you out when you're in trouble. So it's going to be important that our defences are strong against not only the spinners of India, but also some great fast bowlers who can seam, can swing the new ball and bowl very good reverse as well. So defence is going to be incredibly important in this series for us with the bat.

Australian bowling attack:

We have got a good mix of bowlers, guys who are learning to adapt to the way they need to bowl in conditions here. I think it's totally different to back home in Australia, where you need to do things in the air rather than off the wicket. It's important here to make sure you're bowling in consistent areas and get the natural variations out of the wicket. Guys have worked hard on that. I think we're in for a big series. Hopefully the guys can build enough pressure and get the ball in the right areas enough and hopefully we'll be able to get the rewards.

Reverse swing:

It’s going to be incredibly important in this series. Our two big quicks, (Josh) Hazlewood and (Mitchell) Starc, are very good reverse swing bowlers and they relish the challenge of playing against the best players in the world.

Playing in Pune:

I know that place quite well. I've never played a Test match there, I'm sure it's going to be a bit different from T20. Yet, it's still nice to go somewhere where you feel quite comfortable and where you've spent a lot of time out in the middle. Hopefully, I can spend a lot more time out in the middle there.

Dealing with Ashwin:

All our batters are going to have game plans to try and counteract what Ashwin does. Obviously he's a world class bowler, he took 250 Test wickets just a couple of days ago. We know he's going to be difficult to face. But guys are going to formulate plans to hopefully be able to play him and get him out of the game as much as possible.

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