India’s frontline off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has responded to Australian batter Steve Smith‘s recent comment regarding practice matches in India. Both sides will start the highly-anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy with the opening Test on February 09 at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.
Notably, Smith, while revealing the reason behind Australia not playing a single tour game in India, claimed the hosts give them green tops for practice matches and spinning tracks for actual games. This time around, the tourists are engaged in a four-day training camp at the KSCA ground in Alur on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
“We normally have two tour games over in England. This time we don’t have a tour game in India. The last time (2017) we went, I’m pretty sure we got served up a green top (to practice on), and it was sort of irrelevant. Hopefully, we get really good training facilities where the ball is likely to do what it’s likely to do out in the middle, and we can get our practice in,” Smith had said, as quoted by news.com.au.
Reacting to Smith’s statement, Ashwin reckoned that the Aussies love indulging in their usual mind games and sledging before a series. The Chennai-born mentioned that not opting for practice fixtures before a tour is not a big deal, as India have also avoided warm-up games on a few overseas visits
“Australia are not playing any tour matches this time. This is not new. Even India avoids tour games when they go on a few overseas tours. Since Team India’s schedule is packed with international games, it is not possible to turn up for practice games with the same intensity. Smith said, ‘We got a green wicket in Brabourne and a completely opposite one in the first Test (during the 2017 series). In all fairness, it was a rank-turner in Pune. We might have given them a green track, but nobody plans all these things. However, Australia are known for its mind games and sledges before a series. They love doing that. It’s their style of cricket,” said Ashwin on his YouTube channel.