Melbourne: Australian batting mainstay Steve Smith on Tuesday conceded that he has let seasoned Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin dictate terms in their duels so far, something that "I've probably never let any spinner do in my career."
Smith has been enduring a horror run in the ongoing Test series against India, failing to play any knock of significance so far.
The series is currently level at 1-1 after India secured an eight-wicket triumph in the second game here on Tuesday.
"I probably haven't played Ashwin as well as I would've liked. I probably would've liked to have put him under a bit more pressure," Smith told SEN Radio about his struggles against Ashwin, who dismissed him for a nought in the first innings of the just-concluded game.
"I've sort of let him dictate terms and that's something I've probably never let any spinner do in my career. I've sort of taken it to them, been a bit more aggressive and made them change things," he lamented.
The 31-year-old said he is desperate to stay at the crease for a long innings, which has not been happening for him this year.
"It's kind of a two-edged sword in a way, but I think I've just got to have the confidence to take it on and play my game," said Smith.
"At the moment I'm searching for time in the middle; that's the most important thing for me. When I look at this year, 64 balls is the longest I've spent in the middle, during those one-day games.
"For me, that's important. I find a lot of rhythm out in the middle. You can bat as much as you want in the nets but there's nothing that can replicate what a game can do, so that for me is what I'm searching for at the moment."
But he acknowledged that it won't be easy for him given that the Indian bowling attack has been relentlessly accurate.
"That can be tough to do, particularly in a Test match when you've got some quality bowlers."
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Ashwin, who made 39 off 128 balls, and Vihari pulled off a remarkable draw for India on day five of the third Test against Australia. Vihari pulled his hamstring at the start of his innings and was struggling to run between the wickets.
Paine's dropped catches played a key role in the partnership of Hanuma Vihari (23 not out off 161) and Ravichandran Ashwin (39 not out off 128), who batted for more than 42 overs for a 62-run stand to save the Test.
Smith's views came a day after the BCCI sought relaxation in Brisbane's hard quarantine protocol.