Can India stop Steve Smith in the Test series?

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 30: Steve Smith of Australia celebrates making his century during day one of the Fourth Test Match in the 2017/18 Ashes series between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 30, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
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Can India stop Steve Smith in the Test series?

Any Australia vs India series raises the interest levels like the mercury levels in the interiors of Rajasthan. It is no surprise that this time too, the interest is sky-high despite the prevailing pandemic situations. All of us saw that in the pre-cursor white-ball series T20Is and ODIs. Australia won the ODIs 2-1, while India returned the favour 2-1 in the T20Is. That sets the Test series nicely up, which starts with the first Test – the day/night Test at Adelaide Oval from 17th December.

India won the series 2-1 last time in 2018-19 and are the current holders of the Border – Gavaskar Trophy. India need just a drawn series to keep the Trophy, while Australia will look to make it all count. The prevailing conditions – both on and off the field – make us drool over what lies in store for us. All we can say is that the series sets nicely for following the tips and odds on 1xbet. You can find more about the bookmaker by using this 1xbet sing up the offer on Wincomparator.

Smith is a hot favourite to end the series as the best batsman, not the least because of his competition from across the table Virat Kohli will be playing only one Test. With his unorthodox technique and a hunger to make runs even when out of form, Smith is a threat that the Indian bowlers can’t afford to take lightly.

The right-hander finished Ashes 2019 with 774 runs from the four Tests he played and single-handedly carried Australia’s case throughout. The lone Test he missed and the way England bowlers changed their plans gave a glimpse as to how India might target him – bowl short!

Jofra Archer pinged Smith on the helmet and was responsible for the first-ever concussion substitute in Tests. Even when Smith came back in the series, there were enough bouncers to trouble Smith. The Indian attack will be led by JaspritBumrah and Mohammed Shami, who bring contrasting features to the Indian attack. Bumrah is quite unorthodox with his sharp and whippy action that quite a few teams have found out the hard way. He has six five-wicket hauls in just 14 Tests (68 wickets) already and those came in four different tours – South Africa, England, Australia, and West Indies. In fact, Bumrah is the first Indian bowler (and the first Asian bowler, as a matter of fact) to take a five-wicket haul in those four countries.

That Bumrah achieved that feat in just his first set of tours to those countries highlights how crucial he is to India’s plans. Then there is the spectre of Mohammed Shami. Easily one of the most difficult bowlers to face when in rhythm, Shami adds a new dimension to the Indian attack. His short ball is deceptively good and can surprise the batsman in a hurry. When he is on the song, Shami is very difficult to play.

India will be tested with their third seamer choice, as Umesh Yadav or Navdeep Saini or Mohammed Siraj do not make up for the absence of Ishant Sharma. If Ishant was there, it would have been a balanced bowling unit ready to test Smith and Co. His absence, however, puts India slightly in the red and on the back foot.

That should not take anything away from what promises to be an exciting four-match Test series. Be sure that you follow our articles to get all the updates.


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