World’s top-ranked Test batsman Steve Smith, on Tuesday, gave credit to Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for bamboozling him in the pink-ball Test in Adelaide.
On day two of the first Test at the Adelaide Oval, Smith was dismissed by Ashwin in his very first over as the batsman went back to a ball that pitched and straightened just enough to take the edge off the former Australian captain’s bat.
India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane made no mistake at the slips as Ashwin mimicked Imran Tahir's celebration after the 34-year-old got the massive wicket of Smith for 1 off 29 balls during the second session of day two.
Smith, who averages 62.31 in 74 Tests, agreed that Ashwin got the better of him in the day-night Test. The 31-year-old explained how the prior two balls had a decent amount of spin but the delivery on which he got out skidded off the pitch.
“I just knicked one that didn’t spin, unfortunately, that happens sometimes. I thought it was pretty well bowled, to be honest. The two balls prior spun a bit and got a bit grip of the wicket and the next one was kind of sidespin which skidded off. I didn’t play as well as I would have liked. It was some decent bowling,” Smith was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
However, Smith said he will apply himself better the next time he squares off against Ashwin and hopefully plays the Indian off-spinner better.
“Playing in Australia and playing in India is a bit different, the ball doesn’t spin as much as it spins in India. He is a good bowler, he has played a lot of cricket now. He is a world-class performer,” he further said.
“I know he got the better of me the other day, hopefully, I will learn something and move forward. And play him a little bit better in the next game,” Smith added.
Interestingly, Australia humbled India’s vaunted batting line-up for their lowest-ever Test score of 36 runs (with the last man, Mohammad Shami retired hurt).
Tim Paine-led Aussies have taken a 1-0 lead in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a comprehensive eight-wicket win in Adelaide on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Australia and India are gearing up for the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, beginning December 26.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / William West