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Australia does not look very settled: Sachin Tendulkar

Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has shared his views on the intent shown by Australian cricketers in the ongoing India-Australia Test series, along with the Steve Smith and Ravichandran Ashwin match-up, and that both being top-class players one is bound to emerge as a winner.

The veteran cricketer shared his views on the current Australian batting order and that it looks quite unsettled compared to the previous years. Australia, in the ongoing 4-match Border-Gavaskar series, hasn’t scored over 200 in an innings, and their players are yet to register a century.

“When I look at this Australian batting lineup and look at some of the earlier lineups, I feel earlier lineups were settled ones. Those players batted with a different kind of intent but this team does not look very settled,” added the batting maestro.

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As far as the Ashwin-Smith match-up is concerned, Tendulkar said that the off-spinner has been the clear winner in the first two Tests.

So far, the Tamil Nadu-born cricketer has had the upper-hand in the last two Tests, dismissing Steve Smith on scores of 1 and 0. In fact, Smith, who is currently the world’s number 1 batsman in Test cricket and averages over 61, has scored merely 10 runs in 3 innings, is struggling to find his rhythm in the longest format.

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In the first Test at Adelaide Oval, it was an under-cutter that got Smith caught out to Ajinkya Rahane positioned in the slips, then in the second Test at MCG, it was an off-spin that forced him to flick straight to Cheteshwar Pujara in the leg-slips.

“In the first Test, Smith got out to an arm ball or you can call it a straighter which Ashwin releases differently. An off-spinner bowls straighter which skids off the surface when the fingers are not on top of the ball,” Tendulkar told PTI.

“In the second Test, it was not a slider but fingers were on top of the ball which produced bounce and turn. Steve Smith played a normal flick to a regulation off-break that any batsman does by instinct and the fielder was brilliantly placed there.”

“It was a well-planned ball and wicket by Ashwin. Both are class players, so someone is going to have a better day and so far, Ashwin has come out the winner in the first two Tests,” added Tendulkar.

Smith’s dry run with the bat could pose a threat for the hosts if it continues in the Sydney Test and later in Brisbane, considering he carries the Australian batting order in Tests and one of the players to dismiss early on in the contest.

I probably haven’t played Ashwin well: Steve Smith

Reflecting on the mistakes committed in the last two Tests, Smith stated how he has let Ashwin dictate terms in series underway, and that he has never let any spinner do that to him in his Test career.

“I probably haven’t played Ashwin well as I would have liked. I probably would have liked to have put him under a bit more pressure,” the right-hander told SEN Radio.

“I have sort of let him dictate terms and that is something I have probably never let any spinner do in my career. I have sort of taken it to them, been a bit more aggressive and made them change things,” said the Sydney-born cricketer.

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Smith, who averages a mind-boggling 67 at home conditions in Tests, and in the coming venue at SCG, he has got 611 runs in 7 matches comprising two hundreds and five fifties.

“At the moment I am searching for time in the middle, that is the most important thing for me. When I look at this year, 64 balls is the longest I have spent in the middle, during those one-day games,” added Smith.

Having made an astounding comeback from the Adelaide defeat to now the Melbourne victory, Rahane-led India will look to forge ahead with the winning momentum for the third Test against the Aussies at the Sydney Cricket Ground starting on January 7.

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V Shashank
A cricket aficionado who has been following the game since the historic Ashes 2013-14. "People throw stones at you, you turn them into milestones." - Sachin Tendulkar


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