Think we've made the right decision to not play a tour match: Steve Smith ahead of India tour

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Wed, 01/02/2023
Think we've made the right decision to not play a tour match: Steve Smith ahead of India tour
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Despite some criticism for not playing a tour match ahead of their upcoming four-match Test series against India, Australia's premier batter Steve Smith believes it was the right decision, citing "irrelevant" pitches that didn't spin in those games when they were in the country previously.

Since their tour of Pakistan last year, Australia has maintained a no-tour match policy, which will be carried over to their crucial Test tour of India for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

"We'll see when we get to the ground. I believe we made the correct decision not to play a tour match. As I previously stated, the last time they served us a green top, we barely faced spin, so it's kind of irrelevant."

"We're better off having our own nets and getting spinners in and bowling as much as they can," Smith said before departing from Sydney airport with the Australian team on Tuesday, according to The Daily Telegraph.

They also practised pitches at the North Sydney Oval last weekend, replicating roughed-up and cracked pitches in India and using SG balls. Before the first Test in Nagpur on February 9, Australia will hold a five-day training camp in Bengaluru to practise playing in difficult Indian conditions.

"Normally, we have two tour games in England, but this time we don't have a tour game in India, and the last time we went, I'm pretty sure we got served up a green top (to practise on) and it was kind of irrelevant."

"Hopefully, we'll get really good training facilities where the ball will do what it's likely to do out in the middle and we'll be able to practise," Smith added.

When Australia last visited India, despite winning the first Test in Pune, they were defeated 2-1. Australia hasn't won a Test series in India since 2004, and Smith, who won his fourth Allan Border Medal as Australia's best men's player in 2022, believes the Pat Cummins-led side is ready for the Indian challenge.

"It's certainly massive. I'm not sure if (winning in India) is the final frontier. I've never won there, I've only been there twice (for Tests), and it's always a challenge to play there."

"As an Australian Test cricketer, our two opponents over the next six months will most likely be India and England. We have some challenges ahead of us, but the guys are prepared."