Cricket

India vs Australia: 'Steve Smith feeds off criticism, is in good frame of mind', says Tim Paine

  • Agence France-Presse
  • January 14th, 2021
  • 10:21:44 IST

Brisbane: Skipper Tim Paine warned Thursday that Steve Smith "feeds off" criticism and was fired up for the high-stakes fourth Test against India, which Australia will start without injured opener Will Pucovski.

Smith has faced accusations he had been trying to cheat by scuffing up batsman Rishabh Pant's guard at the crease during the tense drawn third Test at Sydney, which left the series locked at 1-1.

He strongly denied it and said he was shocked by the reaction, claiming he was simply shadow batting.

Paine, himself slammed for an ugly sledging incident during the match, said his teammate was mentally strong and determined to build on his man-of-the-match performance in Sydney, where he made 131 and 81.

File image of Steve Smith. Reuters

File image of Steve Smith. Reuters

"Steve is in a good frame of mind," Paine said ahead of the clash at the Gabba starting Friday, a ground where Australia are unbeaten since 1988.

"I think we've seen through what he's been through in the last three years... he's mentally very strong, very tough. He knows sometimes he's going to be criticised and he's handled that supremely well.

"If anything, I think he feeds off it. His statistics speak for themselves and we'll see the best of Steve Smith again this week."

Australia will go into the series-deciding clash without Pucovski, who dislocated his shoulder while fielding in Sydney, where he made an impressive first innings' 62 on debut.

It was another cruel setback for the highly-rated 22-year-old, who missed the first two Tests with concussion.

Marcus Harris, who has played nine Tests, but not since Australia retained the Ashes in England last year, will open instead alongside David Warner.

"He'll come in and open the batting and looking forward to seeing what he can do," said Paine. "He's a no fuss, very good player."

Barring late mishaps, it will likely be the only change to the team that played the third Test.

Earlier this week, wicketkeeper Paine apologised for his own behaviour in Sydney, where he launched a verbal tirade at India's R Ashwin, was fined for dissent and dropped three catches on the final day as Australia failed to bowl India out.

"I let it get under the skin, no doubt about that, I've admitted that, so for me it's about rising above it and concentrating on what I'm doing and concentrating on leading my team," he said.

"We've spoken a lot this game about controlling what we can control and focusing more inwardly on ourselves. If we do that, then we'll be in a good position."

Australia (probable): David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Updated Date: January 14, 2021 10:21:44 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

India vs Australia, 4th Test Preview: Depleted visitors prepare for final push in Gabbatoir cauldron
First Cricket News

India vs Australia, 4th Test Preview: Depleted visitors prepare for final push in Gabbatoir cauldron

A depleted yet plucky India still have the chance to win the series and will retain the trophy even if they draw the last Test. However, it will be an uphill task as they try to wade through challenges galore having entered the Gabbatoir.

India vs Australia: Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur shine, but hosts set challenging target of 328 for visitors
First Cricket News

India vs Australia: Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur shine, but hosts set challenging target of 328 for visitors

The target is a tricky one and the Indian batsmen would get a fair idea of whether to go for it by lunch on the final day, which is Tuesday. This was after Siraj and Thakur combined to share nine wickets while dismissing Australia for 294 in their second innings.

India vs Australia: We are always better team when David Warner plays, says Tim Paine
First Cricket News

India vs Australia: We are always better team when David Warner plays, says Tim Paine

Warner is still not hundred percent fit but Paine's eulogies bore testimony to the team's desperation to get their opener back in the wake of their batting unit's flop show in three of the four innings so far.