SYDNEY, (Reuters) – India still bear the scars of the mauling they suffered at the hands of Australia at the start of their tour Down Under and Steve Smith thinks it could be a factor when the countries meet in today’s World Cup semi-final.
The world champions have stormed back to imperious form in the World Cup and are unbeaten going into the last four showdown at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), where they will be out to end Australia’s bid for a fifth world crown.
From the start of December to early February, however, Australia simply dominated India, winning two and drawing two tests and then beating them comfortably in a tri-series match and World Cup warm-up.
“I think we’ll have a little edge over them with a few scars from the matches throughout the Summer, they didn’t beat us once,” Smith told reporters at the SCG yesterday.
“So I think that’s going to be playing on their mind a little bit.
“They’ve been here for a long time now, they’ve been able to get accustomed to the conditions, the bounce we’ve got here compared to back in India.
“Other than that, I just think we need to do what we can do well, to control that. If we do, I’ve no doubt it’s going to be a competitive game for us.”
Smith’s own spectacular form with the bat played a large part in Australia’s supremacy in the test arena, the 25-year-old scoring centuries in all four matches and 769 runs in total.
He has been less prolific in the World Cup, scoring 241 runs in six matches, but showed great maturity in his innings of 65 to help Australia to victory in the quarter-final against Pakistan.
Smith feels his elevation up the batting order to number three works well for the team, especially against spin-reliant sides from the sub-continent.
“I have always said I enjoy batting at three and with (Michael Clarke) at four we just like to take our time and knock the ball around,” he added.
“That will work well against India with their spinners bowling quite a few overs in the middle.
“We can knock them around and give our power-hitters the last 15 overs to come in and do what they did against Sri Lanka, I think that is our blue print to ideally perform.”