Australia batsman Matthew Wade on Sunday said he is confident that Steve Smith will emerge triumphant in the individual battle going on against Ravichandran Ashwin in the remaining two Tests against India. The four-match series between India and Australia currently stands levelled at 1-1 and the third Test is slated to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 7. Ashwin has dismissed Smith twice in the ongoing series, and the off-spinner has got the batsman caught at normal slip and then caught at leg-slip.
“I think they 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,” said Wade while replying to an ANI query during the virtual press conference on Sunday.
Wade opened in the first two Tests as regular openers David Warner and Will Pucovski were both injured. But with the return of both these batters, Wade can now see himself being played in the middle-order as Travis Head has looked completely out of sorts.
“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,” said Wade.
“Justin spoke to me, asking me if I was comfortable in opening the batting, I thought it as an opportunity to be a versatile player and bat anywhere ranging from the number one spot to number seven, I saw it as a positive opportunity. My spot has been speculated for ten years now, and I am used to it now,” he added.
Cricket Australia on Saturday said that Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, and Navdeep Saini have been put in isolation as a precautionary measure after these five players were seen eating at an indoor venue in Melbourne on New Year’s Day.
“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,” said Wade.
Warner and Pucovski were named in Australia’s updated Test squad for the remaining two Tests on Wednesday. Australia opener Joe Burns, who failed to perform, has been released and will return to the Brisbane Heat outfit for the Big Bash League (BBL).
Cricket Australia on Wednesday had informed that the hosts will train in Melbourne on January 2 and 3 before moving to Sydney on January 4. The third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Test Series between Australia and India will be telecast Live from January 7, 2021.
India had levelled the four-match series against Australia after securing an eight-wicket win in the Boxing Day Test.
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