Steve Smith believes Australia are in a nice position going into Day 5 at the Gabba. With the pitch starting to act up, the Australian advised bowlers to bowl in the right areas and let the pitch do the rest on Tuesday.
The series decider in Brisbane has gone onto the final day. Australia have 98 overs to bowl out India. The visitors need to score 324 runs more to win the Test. With cracks opening up in the Gabba wicket, how the pitch behaves is a major talking point ahead of the final day.
Speaking to PTI after Day 4, Steve Smith gave an insight into Australia’s plans for the final day of the series.
“I think the game is in a nice place for us. The wicket has started to play a few tricks today, a couple of balls shot up. So, tomorrow it is just going to be about bowling good areas and letting the natural variation to do its work, and hopefully we can hold on to all the chances.”
Australia will begin Day 5 slightly ahead, with history on their side as well. The highest successful chase at the Gabba was in 1951 when West Indies chased down a target of 236.
The situation in Brisbane resembles in some way that of Sydney. The Australians had more than 130 overs to bowl the Indians out then, but the visitors rallied superbly to draw the Test. Although Steve Smith acknowledged the similarities, he backed Australia to do better this time.
"The Indian players have batted well. Obviously in Sydney, it was 130 (overs) or something, obviously, it is a different wicket to that. But for us, it is just being patient, not searching too much, bowling good areas and just letting it happen. I think the more you sort of go searching for on these kinds of tracks, then you probably don't get the reward."
Steve Smith stresses on Nathan Lyon’s importance for the Gabba finale
While Nathan Lyon picked up just 1 wicket in the 1st innings, Steve Smith expects the off-spinner to play a crucial role on Day 5. With cracks opening up, Steve Smith backed the off-spinner to create chances as he targets 400 wickets in his 100th Test for the Aussies.
“There is a nice little crack I think, forming outside the right-hander's off-stump which he (Lyon) will probably be looking to sort of aim at. So I think if he hits good areas consistently tomorrow, there is certainly no reason why he can't create some chances on day five."