Keeping Kohli quiet would be key to success, says Smith
Chennai: Steve Smith reckons that keeping home captain Virat Kohli "quiet" would be key for Australia to in the upcoming ODI series against India and promised that the contest will be played in "good spirit".
Kohli is in red-hot form as he was the highest run-getter in the five-match series against Sri Lanka with a tally of 330 runs, which included two centuries and a fifty. The Indian captain recorded his 30th ODI century during his splendid batting show in the Island nation, equalling Australian great Ricky Ponting's record.
Smith, who has eight ODI centuries, said he was not too concerned about the gulf between him and the home captain but to be successful in in this series, they will have to get Kohli out cheaply.
"I am not too concerned about the differences with Kohli. He is obviously a very good player and has a phenomenal ODI record. Hopefully, we can keep him quiet as much as possible in this series. If we do that then hopefully it can go a long way in us having success on this tour," Smith told reporters after a practice session.
"I think it will be played in good spirit. It is a hard- fought contest playing against India. Looking back at the last One-day tour, I wasn't on it in 2013. It was a big run fest from memory. Pretty flat wickets and big totals. We will see what we are presented with and it could be the same again."
India chose to rest leading spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja but Smith said the hosts still have a potent
spin attack. "This is a completely different format compared to Test cricket. Axar Patel has done well pretty well for them. (Yuzvendra) Chahal is in the squad as well. Kuldeep Yadav is a good bowler too. They certainly have some good spin options and we have got to play them really well throughout the series," Smith said.
"I think the One-day group has played spin pretty well for a little while. Obviously, we are still learning in the Test format and trying to improve. We are coming from a challenging tour of Bangladesh.
"Obviously the guys are learning and trying to improve. Not sure that the ODI wickets will present quite as much as spin perhaps as some of the Test wickets. We have to wait and see and adapt to the conditions accordingly."
Smith also revealed that it was pre-planned that coach Darren Lehmann will leave for home after the Bangladesh tour. "There are no issues. We will be fine. David Saker has been with us for a while now. It was announced about six months ago that Darren was going to take rest from this series and Saker was going to take over."