Australia touch down in Mumbai
Australia arrived in India on Valentine’s day ahead of their four Test series against the hosts which gets underway in Pune on February 23.
The Baggy Green skipper Steve Smith has not counseled his team against the use of sledging aimed at Virat Kohli but has said it is down to the individual players to decide.
Smith said at a press conference in Mumbai: “I think each of our individuals play the way that they play.
“If they want to get into a battle verbally, and that gets the best out of them then go for it.
“It’s all about us making sure that us as individuals are in the right mind set to go out and succeed.
“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.”
Looking ahead to the warm up game against India A coach Darren Lehmann insisted they weren’t too fussed about the result of the game.
Lehmann told the gathered press: “We’re not focusing too much on the results, it’s just getting into the game and playing as well as we can.
“For us to start well is a key, in the first Test in Pune.
“And starting here with the tour game as well.
“Preparation has been good, really happy with where all the lads are at and now it’s a case of going to play.”
Speaking about the time spent in Dubai Smith said it was about fine tuning their approach to the game in dry and turning conditions.
Smith added: “Guys were able to try and find the best way to hopefully have success here in India, it’s so foreign to what we get back home.
“You don’t really want people to change their natural games, it’s always important to be positive and look to score.
“The moment you start defending you’re probably in trouble.
“But ultimately your defence is what helps you out when you’re in trouble and it’s going to be important that our defences are strong.
“Against not only the spin bowlers of India, but they’ve got some great fast bowlers as well who can present a good seam, swing the ball and bowl very good reverse (swing).”
Smith would not be drawn on Australia’s gameplan to counter India skipper Virat Kohli who is in sublime form at the moment having scored double centuries in each of his last four Test series.
Smith simply said: “We’re trying to form a game plan but I’m not going to tell you what it is.”
Australia have lost their last nine Tests in Asia while India have not lost in their last 19 Test matches.
Heather Knight insists she always thought England controlled final T20 match
The home side edged out New Zealand at Taunton to clinch the series.
England claim T20 series win over New Zealand after dramatic last-over win
Sophia Dunkley struck the penultimate ball of the third match at Taunton to seal the series 2-1
England-India Test series finale to go ahead after tourists get Covid all-clear
India’s PCR tests came back negative on Thursday evening after speculation the Old Trafford Test could be in doubt.
Jos Buttler says England are preparing to play amid Indian Covid concerns
Final Test starts on Friday.
England pressing on with Test preparations amid reports of India Covid scare
Reports from India on Thursday said another member of staff had contracted the virus.
Tymal Mills receives England T20 World Cup call-up as Ben Stokes misses out
Stokes is currently taking an indefinite hiatus from the game to prioritise his mental health.
Nottinghamshire seize title initiative as Hampshire keep pace
Lancashire had been set an unlikely victory target of 444, which would have put them top.
Joe Root says Test team were ‘hampered’ by this season’s domestic calendar
The England captain called on organisers to place red-ball cricket at the forefront of their thinking for the 2021 schedule.
England opener Haseeb Hameed looking forward to playing at old stomping ground
Hameed left Lancashire for Nottinghamshire in 2019.
ICC concerned about future of women’s cricket in Afghanistan
The Taliban has suggested women will not be allowed to keep playing cricket.