Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke has backed Steve Smith's team to topple India in the coming one-day global series, saying their experience in the Indian Premier League will play a key role. On his first tour in 2003, Australia defeated India in a tri-series final in Kolkata on a pitch that turned square from the first ball. While the South Indian powerhouse of cricket has always bestowed all its love on cricketers, the first game of the five-match ODI series between India and Australia has generated a huge interest amongst the locals.
And Clarke believes those achievements highlight clearly the field in which each man excels. "He knows his game a lot better now than when he started his career", Clarke said. (Steve) Smith is a better Test batsman than Virat. "Players like Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, who performed very well are being given an extended run". At the end of the day it up to you to be back.
"Another focal point, besides their batting, is their assessment as leaders".
"I think this team has certainly got that aggression in them... they are led by an aggressive captain".
Faulkner used his time off wisely, putting in a "pre-season" to nurse a troublesome knee back to health."I have been battling, to be honest, for probably the last 18 months, so it's been nice to be home in Tassie (Tasmania) with my team mates there and hit the gym hard", he said.
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Clarke added that MS Dhoni, Anil Kumble had their own ways of handling the team while Virat Kohli had a different style. "Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile need to take those early wickets if Australia wants to win the series", the former Australia captain said.
David Warner hit 64 at the top of the order, while Marcus Stoinis top-scored with 76 before Ashton Agar took 4-44 to boost his chances of selection in the series.
With 2019 World Cup being considered as the next holy grail, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), national selectors, captain Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri are now on an experimental spree to try out different combinations. "This series won't be different to any other we have seen between Australia and India", observed Clarke, part of the broadcasters' team.
Riding on his impressive show in the series, Yuvraj made it to the Indian team for the ICC Champions Trophy squad ahead of the likes of Raina, Rishabh Pant. Smith said that they will look to do the talking with their play rather sledging at the Indian players.