5 reasons why this could be a defining tour for Steven Smith as captain
The confidence in the Australian side has been missing when they have played with the red ball in the sub-continent in recent times.
Steve Smith and co. are all set to take on the mighty Indian side in a four-match Test series, which commences on February 23 at Pune. A number of things are on the line for the Australian skipper, as India have been on a roll in the longest format of the game in recent times. With spin being their primary weapon, India have ripped apart South Africa, New Zealand and England on home soil.
Tormentors-in-chief – Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja – scalped 28 and 26 wickets respectively in the Test series against England. Prior to that, the duo wreaked havoc against New Zealand by accounting for 41 wickets between them.
India have been outstanding since Virat Kohli’s appointment as Test skipper; they have won six consecutive Test series; out of which, the last three came at home. To add to Kohli’s good fortune, India is yet to witness a single defeat in their backyard with him being at the helm.
The Australian side, on the other hand, have been one of the most dominant sides in world cricket. They have scored heavily across the globe and terrorised some of the best batting line-ups with their menacing pace attacks. However, the same confidence has been missing when they have played with the red ball in the sub-continent in recent times. Australia had an awful time in Sri Lanka in 2016 and before that in the UAE against Pakistan.
With India all set to lock horns with Australia, let’s see how this tour can define Steve Smith’s career as a skipper.
#1 Beating India in their backyard is a challenge
India have been a force to reckon with in Tests, especially at home. For any Test playing nation, beating them in their own den is a matter of pride and India have certainly kept their record of being unbeaten at home, intact for last six Test series. The last time, when India lost a Test series at home was back in 2012 against England.
Since then, the side has undergone numerous changes and transformed under the new skipper, Virat Kohli. India have now played in 19 Tests, without enduring a defeat. They stand at fifth spot in the list after West Indies (27), England (26) and Australia (25 and 22).
The current crop of Indian cricketers have been nearly unstoppable and Smith has a mountain to climb ahead of him, as a player and also as a skipper. If Smith manages to pull this one off, then it will not only create a massive upset but a number of records will be shattered.