Ability to start well has helped me score big against India: Smith

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Sydney, Nov 24 (IANS) Australia batsman Steve Smith has said that his ability to start well against India has resulted in a good record against the arch-rivals, adding that he loves to stand up and be counted in a big series like the Ashes or the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Smith has an exceptional record against India, scoring 1,429 runs in 10 Tests at an average of 84.05.

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“The first Test and first game I have (always) started very well against India, been able to get in a bit of rhythm. It has then helped me throughout the rest of the series. It has probably something to do with it. Other than that, I am not really sure (why I have a good record against India),” Smith told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the three-match ODI series which begins on Friday.

“I think in big series, I stand up and try and get the best out of myself. Whether it is Ashes series or an India series, they are the two biggest series for us as Australian cricketers,” he added.

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The 31-year-old had missed the last Test series against India due to suspension for his involvement in ball-tampering scandal. Both him and David Warner were banned by Cricket Australia for a year in early 2018 which meant that they had to miss the India series in 2018-19. Smith was asked if missing the last series makes him hungry. He said that it was tough to watch his team lose from the sidelines.

“I am always hungry to go out and perform. I guess it was tough watching from the sidelines with the team not doing as well as they would have liked. It was difficult to watch knowing that I felt like I could go out and have an impact so that was hard. I am certainly looking forward to this series,” said Smith.

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The right-handed batsman lost his captaincy due to the ball-tampering scandal and the India series saw Tim Paine leading the Australians. Paine continues to be the Test captain while Aaron Finch is the limited-overs skipper. Smith says he has no aspiration to be the captain anymore.

“It (captaincy) is something I haven’t really thought much about. It has just been about backing Tim (Paine) and (Aaron) Finchie. They have both done really good job the last couple of years. My job in the team is to go out there and score runs. That is what I do at the moment. I haven’t given a great deal of thought to it. I will see what the future holds,” he said.

The four-match Test series will start from December 17 in Adelaide, following the completion of three ODIs and as many T20Is between.



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