Ready to curb aggression in Bangladesh: Australia captain Smith

Sydney, Sep 19 (IANS) Australia captain Steve Smith feels that his team must curb its aggressive style and focus on grinding out results during their tour to Bangladesh next month.

Smith will make his first tour after taking on the captaincy as Australia try to rebuild the team after the conceeding the Ashes with a disappointing 2-3 series loss in England.

Although Australia will start the series as favourites, they will be wary of a much improved Bangladesh in subcontinent conditions. Australia swept Bangladesh 2-0 in their last Test tour in 2006, but have always struggled on the flat wickets of the subcontinent.

They have lost four of their past five series in the region, winning just one of their past 15 Tests. They were whitewashed by India in 2010 and 2013 and by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last year.

“I think that’s something I’m going to have to adapt to with my captaincy. In Australia you can be a little bit more attacking. In places on the subcontinent you’ve got to find ways to get batsmen out, you might have to bore them out,” Smith told reporters here on Saturday.

“For me it’s about being adaptable wherever we play. So you might have to be more defensive with that and when the ball starts to spin and reverse swing, that’s when you can attack.”

With the selectors opting to give rest fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle and left-armer Mitchell Starc to lead the attack. With reverse swing expected to play a crucial role in the series, uncapped Tasmania pacer Andrew Fekete could make his Test debut.

“I haven’t seen Fekete bowl for a while, last time I saw him bowl he got me out in a second XI game and I was part of a hat-trick,” Smith said.

Usman Khawaja has made a comeback to the Test squad and Smith tipped the batsman to make a big impact. Khawaja is on the comeback trail from a knee reconstruction that sidelined him for the second half of last summer.

“He’s got another opportunity, he’s worked really hard to get back,” Smith said. “He’s had a tough time of it with his knee but he’s back in the squad now and I’m looking forward to seeing what he brings.”

 

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