India vs Australia ODI series: The much-awaited India tour of Australia is set to begin from November 27 with the three-match ODI series and ahead of the opening ODI in Sydney, Australia’s stalwart Steve Smith sent an ominous warning to Team India as the batsman declared on Tuesday his game had benefited from his two-week stint in hotel quarantine and he has ‘find his hands’ again.
The 31-year-old, who will enter this summer off a disappointing IPL season where he averaged 25.91 for Rajasthan, said, “I was pretty disappointed actually with my batting throughout the IPL. I never really got into a good rhythm, but I think the last few days actually I’ve found something. People close to me that know me well, I’ve found my hands the last few days, which I’m extremely excited about.”
“It’s taken me probably about three and half or fourth months to do it, but found them now, which is pleasing and I actually look forward to going back to the nets again this afternoon to have another hit and just reinforce it and get started again in a few days’ time.”
“I have done a bit of shadow batting, copped a few messages last night, saying stop tapping the bat down. But it has been good, because we have had a smaller group than we would normally have for our training sessions.”
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It should be noted that Smith’s declaration sounds simple but is crucial.
The former national captain has previously spoken about re-finding his hands before the 2017-18 Ashes, where he hit averaged a Bradman-esque 137.40.
A similar thing happened mid-match in the 2015-16 Perth Test against New Zealand.
He hit a century in the next innings, a crucial match-high 53 in the maiden day-night Test that followed and averaged 214 and 131 in the next two series.
“Theoretically it is a simple thing, but it’s just getting that feel and the look of the bat behind my toe the right way and the way my hands come up on the bat,” Smith said.
“It’s hard to explain but it just hasn’t quite been right until probably two days ago, I found a little something and everything just clicked in. I had a big smile on my face after training the other day, because I walked past [Australia’s senior assistant and also Rajasthan head coach] Andrew McDonald I think it was and said ‘I found ’em again’, I was really excited,” he added.
Smith averages 60.46 against India in ODIs having hit 907 runs in 18 games. It goes without saying that he will be one of the biggest challenges that Virat Kohli and co. will have to overcome during their tour down under.