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“He will be fine” - Matthew Wade confident of Steve Smith tackling Ravichandran Ashwin

Matthew Wade
Matthew Wade
ANALYST
Modified 03 Jan 2021, 09:26 IST
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Australia batsman Matthew Wade has expressed confidence that Steve Smith will overcome his struggles against Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the last two Tests against India.

Ashwin has troubled Smith in the first two Tests, dismissing him cheaply twice - once caught at slip and then at leg-slip.

Speaking about Smith’s struggles against Ashwin, Matthew Wade told ANI during a virtual press conference:

"I think they (India) have bowled terrifically well, especially in Melbourne there was more spin and bounce, we did not expect it to come into play as it did, we did not adapt quick enough to that wicket, Steve has played against Ashwin plenty of times before this, Smith has been successful over here and I am sure he will be fine, no problems at all. Ashwin and Jadeja are a difficult spin duo, they are very consistent and we need to find a way, that's the nature of the beast."

Matthew Wade opened in the first two Tests with David Warner and Will Pucovski injured. However, with the return of the opening duo for the remaining two Tests, Matthew Wade could be slotted back in the middle-order. Sharing his experience of opening the innings, the 33-year-old added:

"I have really enjoyed batting as an opener, I did not know what to expect going into the pink-ball Test, it's not that different, you have to be cautious early, moving forward if the selectors want me to do this role, then I am comfortable doing it now.
"Will Pucovski has come back to the squad, I don't know right now where I will bat, whether I play or not, who knows. I will prepare for where I have been batting, if I slide down the order, then also I am comfortable.”

Matthew Wade has registered scores of 8, 33, 30 and 40 in the first two Tests. While Warner and Pucovski are part of Australia's updated Test squad for the last two Tests, struggling opener Joe Burns has been released and is now playing for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League (BBL).

Not concerned with what India’s doing off the field: Matthew Wade

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Matthew Wade was also asked about the Indian team’s dining controversy. Cricket Australia on Saturday informed that Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, and Navdeep Saini have been placed in isolation as a precautionary measure for eating at an indoor venue in Melbourne. Matthew Wade responded:

"What India is doing, I haven't really thought too much about it, I have seen the photo, it is what it is, people a lot higher than me are sorting it out, as a group and me personally, we are not worried what India is doing outside of the cricket ground, we cannot do much about it.”

With the four-match series between India and Australia level at 1-1, the teams will now meet in the third Test at Sydney from January 7.

Published 03 Jan 2021, 09:26 IST
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