Steve Smith, a seasoned Australian batsman says a “terrific” Indian team is packed with some serious match winners going into the T20 World Cup, alluding that Virat Kohli’s side will be one of the favourites to lift the title.
India thumped Australia by nine wickets(one retired out) in a warm-up game with Rohit Sharma (60), KL Rahul (39), and Suryakumar Yadav (38) all getting some runs under their belts. Australia’s bowlers captured only one wicket, with spinner Ashton Agar removing opener Lokesh Rahul for 39.
Steve Smith: India Has Got All Bases Covered And Has Some Potential Match Winners In Team
Virat Kohli did not lead the side but came out to bowl as India was still figuring out their sixth-bowling option. India fine-tuned its T20 World Cup preparations with a convincing nine-wicket win over Australia in its final warm-up game at ICC cricket Academy Stadium. Rohit Sharma (60 retired off 41) showed sublime touch alongside opening partner KL Rahul (39 off 31) as India chased down Australia’s 152 for five in 17.5 overs.
Suryakumar Yadav (38 not out off 27) came at number three in Virat Kohli’s absence and got valuable time in the middle, which should boost his confidence going ahead. Finally, Hardik Pandya (14 not out off 8) came at four to finish the game, and he did it with a clean hit over the bowler’s head.
“They’re a terrific side, they have got all bases covered and some serious match winners in there,” Smith was quoted as saying.
“They’ve obviously been playing in these conditions during the last couple of months with the IPL so they’ll be used to that,” he added.
India went off to a flier in the opening stages of the game as the spinners headed by Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Rahul Chahar took four out of the five wickets. Australia then went on to set a target of 153, thanks to the heroics of Marcus Stoinis’ quick-fire 41 and Steve Smith’s well-made 57.
Steve Smith Has Not Played Many IPL 2021 Games At UAE But Played A Lot At Nets To Get Used To The Conditions
Steve Smith himself scored 57 off 48 balls in the game, crossing the 50-run mark for the first time since he struck 86 for NSW against Queensland in March.
“It was nice to spend a bit of time in the middle again. It’s never easy when you’re three down. You have to rebuild for a period there and I thought we did that pretty well. The partnerships with Stoin (Marcus Stoinis) and Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) were obviously important.”
Steve Smith, who had given the tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh due to an elbow injury, said he is feeling “good and ready to go now”. He featured in two games for the Delhi Capitals in the second leg of the recently concluded IPL 2021.
“I haven’t obviously played too many games with the IPL but I’ve spent a lot of time in the nets and getting used to the conditions, which has been nice,” he said.
Steve Smith has featured in only 8 games so far for the Delhi Capitals, all of which came in IPL 2021 and amassed 152 runs averaging 25.33.