Winning in India is big on my bucket list: Steve Smith
It is also certain that Smith backs Usman Khawaja to be in the squad that can conquer not only the home Ashes that but also the sub-continental giant.
Published - Aug 27, 2017 3:47 pm | Updated - Aug 27, 2017 3:47 pm
When the squad for Australia’s Tour of Bangladesh was announced, eyebrows were raised because of Ashton Agar’s inclusion in place of Steve O’Keefe. Come to think of it, and this is Steve Smith’s long term planning that explains not only Agar’s inclusion but also Usman Khawaja. These will probably be the only two changes in the Playing XI since Australia’s last Test in Dharamshala, that they lost.
Even though O’Keefe’s numbers in Tests and first-class cricket have been top-class, while Agar, who is nine years younger to O’Keefe has made it into the final cut, majorly because of Smith’s vision that the 23-year-old has it in him to make it big, in the years to come. It has been almost two years since Smith took over Australia as captain of the Test team, and he is already thinking four years ahead, about their next tour to India. He has admitted that winning a Test series in India is one he craves to win.
“He’s come a long way,” Smith said of Agar’s inclusion. “For us it’s more looking to the future. Ashton has obviously been on the radar for a long time and someone we see as having a pretty bright future. Four years’ time back in India it’s something I want to achieve while I’m captain. I want to win in India, that’s big on my bucket list.”
What about Uzzie?
While it is clear that Agar is being looked upon as a future prospect, it is also certain that the captain backs Usman Khawaja to be in the squad that can conquer not only the home Ashes that are just months away but also the sub-continental giant, despite his vulnerability to spin. This tour, for him, will be more of a preparation than a test in itself, in terms of Smith and Australia’s long-term plans.
“Usman obviously hasn’t played any cricket since the Sydney Test match, that was his last game and that was a long time ago,” he said. “We need to get him back into the fold and get him playing cricket again.” Before the home Ashes, Smith means, where the stylish left-hander remains a lock, as reported by Cricinfo.
High regards about playing in India
Despite the fact that Australia lost the series against India, they were by far the strongest competitors in India’s long home season where they played four different oppositions over the span of a 6 months. They were the closest to taming the Indian team which in itself is a big deal considering that the team has now become nearly unbeatable at home.
“Something I learned a lot about in India as a captain in particular was knowing the different tempos of the game and when to attack a little bit more. It’s been a good learning experience for me. I think the key to winning overseas is to ensure that you’re adapting consistently and putting those performances on the board consistently,” concluded the Australian skipper