Steve Smith’s Form Not a Concern but Australia Must Adapt Well: Mitchell Starc

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Steve Smith might be taking a wee bit more time to adjust to sub-continental tracks but his poor returns in the first two ODIs against India is least of concern for the Australian team management, senior speedster Mitchell Starc said on Tuesday.

Usually a prolific scorer against India, Smith has scores of 0 and 41 in the first two ODIs on batting-friendly tracks, having flopped earlier in the Test series in February-March when he could only manage 145 runs across four Tests.

Starc, who himself is coming back from a groin niggle, was speaking ahead of the third and final ODI scheduled on Wednesday.

“No. His (Smith) numbers speak for himself,” Starc replied to a query on Smith’s current form.

“He (Smith) has been a high-class player and has been a massive part of all formats for Australia, so no concern there. It is the adjustment factor, coming back to India after a series in South Africa, some guys are coming off a break,” Starc told reporters here ahead of Australia’s training session at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium.

Starc, who might make a comeback in the third game then underlined the reasons for Australia’s back-to-back defeats in Mohali and Indore.

“I think we have seen the wickets change throughout both the games, depending on who batted first and in different places. Spin was a massive factor in the second innings the other night (in Indore). We played pretty well under lights in Mohali,” Starc said.

The left-arm pacer said conditions are still proving challenging for Australian touring party, which comprises a few fresh faces such as left-arm bowler Spencer Johnson.

“We have got a lot of guys with IPL experience, we know that the wickets are going to be very different through the night and day, depending on which part of India we play as well — not too many grounds we have played back to back games so, conditions are going to play a part,” he said.

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Vishwas Gupta