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‘Go for it’: Aussies get skipper Smith’s go-ahead for sledging against Kohli’s boys

In line with the mood, Australian skipper Steve Smith decided to up the heat a day after the arrival of the team to India for a four-match Test series starting February 23 in Pune.

India TV Sports Desk, Mumbai [Published on:14 Feb 2017, 4:11 PM IST]
Australian captain Steve Smith has backed his players for
Australian captain Steve Smith has backed his players for sledging against IndiaPhoto:PTI

It can never be a low key affair when two of the world’s best Test sides set themselves up for a faceoff. In line with the mood, Australian skipper Steve Smith decided to up the heat a day after the arrival of the team to India for a four-match Test series starting February 23 in Pune.

Ahead of the first Test with India, Smith has backed his boys for a verbal onslaught and on-field aggression against the Indian team led by skipper Virat Kohli.

Smith urged his players to do whatever it takes to win the four-Test series, which starts on February 23 in Pune.

"I think each of our individuals play the way they play and if they want to get into a battle verbally then, if that gets the best out of them, go for it," he told reporters in Mumbai.

"It's all about us making sure that as individuals we're in the right mindset to go out and succeed and if guys want to get in those kind of battles then go for it.

"But in the end it's about us playing on skill and making sure that our skills are in the best place for us to succeed in these conditions," added the 27-year-old.

India-Australia series have seen a lot of bad blood in the past as well and by the looks of it, fans should brace for a feisty contest this time around too.

India’s 2008 tour Down Under was almost called off after the infamous "Monkeygate" incident as animosity between the old foes threatened to boil over. Relations between the old foes neared breaking point when Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was suspended for three matches for allegedly calling Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds a "monkey" during the New Year's Test in Sydney.

The ban was overturned when India threatened to quit the tour, claiming Harbhajan had been wrongly accused.

Things went downhill once again during India's Test and one-day series in Australia prior to the 2015 World Cup when heated on-field exchanges led to several players being penalised. India's 2014-15 tour of Australia which saw India's Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, and the hosts' Mitchell Starc, charged with breaching the International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct.|

Australia opener David Warner, who had heated on-field exchanges with India batsman Rohit Sharma with the Australian telling him to "speak English" was reported in both the Test and one-day series.

India take on the Aussies in a four-match Test series starting February 23 in Pune.

After Pune, Australia go to Bangalore, Ranchi and Dharamsala for the other three Tests in March.

Smith urged his players to go out and achieve a career-defining victory. "I think all of the guys are really excited about what's to come in the next six weeks. It's a great challenge to play here in India.

"We know that if we can pull something off and win a series here we'll look back in 10-20 years and it will be some of the best time of our lives," he said.

(With agencies)

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