Australian batting spearhead Steve Smith has said that he was looking to put pressure on ace Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin during his stay at the crease on the first day of the Sydney Test after having struggled against the offie in the first two Tests.
Smith, who had come into the New Year Test, on the back of horrendous form in the opening two Test where he managed scores of 1, 1*, 0 & 8, looked in his groove for the first time in the ongoing series as he took the attack to the Indian bowlers including Ravichandran Ashwin as he smashed five boundaries in the first 25 deliveries that he faced.
Smith eventually finished the day on 31 not-out as Australia took control of the third Test, ending the day at 2/166 in 35 overs.
“I’m good, nice to spend a bit of time out there, nice to stitch in a partnership with Marnus. I wanted to put him (Ashwin) under a little bit of pressure which I haven’t done this series,” Steve Smith said at the end of the day’s play.
Smith looked determined right from the very outset and one could make that out from the manner in which he was banging his bat in the ground.
The former Australian captain said that the reason behind it was that he was just trying to hold his grip a bit tighter since he was coming off a lean patch.
He also proceeded to heap praise on his partner Marnus Labuschagne, who composed a brilliant half-century as the duo accumulated an unbeaten 60-run-stand for the 3rd wicket.
“I was just trying to hold the grip a bit tighter, I’ve been struggling, so I was getting into good positions today. I was good to get a couple of boundaries early. Marnus played well, hopefully, we go along well tomorrow,” the champion batsman added.