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“This is going to be a difficult tour and I am excited by that challenge”: Smith

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2017,13:07 IST By joji A A A

Mumbai | Aware of the stiff challenge awaiting them in the upcoming Test series, Australia captain Steve Smith today said winning in India will go down as the ‘best time of life’ for the players of his team.

India and Australia will engage in a four-Test series, bgeinning in Pune from February 23.

“It’s a great challenge to play here in India. We know if we can pull something off and win a series here, we can look back at it in 10-20 years as some of the best times in our life. It’s a great occasion to play here in India,” said Smith at his first media conference after arriving here.

Australia, who are yet to win a Test in India since upsetting the hosts 2-1 in the best-of-three rubber way back in 2004-05, will commence their tour with a three-day warm-up game here against an India A squad.

“This is going to be a difficult tour and I am excited by that challenge. All of us are excited about what’s to come in the next six weeks,” said the 27-year-old Smith, who is no stranger to Indian conditions after taking part in the Indian Premier League on a regular basis over the last few years.

India have not lost a Test series at home since losing to England in 2012 and have recroded comprehensive wins over Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and England.

Team coach Darren Lehmann, who is also quite familiar with the conditions in India having coached a few IPL sides in the past, concurred with Smith about the difficulties of taking on India at home.

“The preparations have been good. It’s an exciting tour and India are a quality side with some quality fast bowlers along with spinners. They have not lost in 20 Test matches at home and we know they are a quality side. It’s a great challenge,” said Lehmann.

Australia had prepared for some time in Dubai before reaching Mumbai yesterday, and Smith said they had tried to play in conditions similar to what they will experience here.

“Boys have been in Dubai for some time now preparing on good wickets, challenging themselves. We have prepared very well and are ready to go,” he said.

“We are excited about the tour and know it’s going to be difficult. India are a very good team, particularly in home conditions. There’s a tour match (from February 17-19 at CCI).
All the boys have been working hard, formulating good game plans and hopefully will have a successful series,” he added.

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