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Steve Smith Ahead Of WTC Final Against India

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Steve Smith Ahead Of WTC Final Against India

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In anticipation of the highly anticipated ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final in 2023, Australian batsman Steve Smith expressed his confidence in his team’s abilities while remaining focused on the prospect of a thrilling cricket match. Scheduled to take place at The Oval from June 7-11, the summit clash will witness Australia, led by Pat Cummins, competing against India, captained by Rohit Sharma, for the prestigious Test Mace.

Smith conveyed his belief in Australia’s capacity to defeat India and expected a riveting contest in the WTC final. “We have faith in our abilities to perform well and beat India. Over the years, we have played exceptional cricket, and recently, we have exhibited tremendous skill as a team. India has also played remarkably well. As the two best teams face each other in the final, we can anticipate a captivating game of cricket. Personally, I am not excessively focused on the opposition. This is a significant week for both India and Australia,” Smith stated during the pre-match press conference.

The spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin is poised to play a crucial role, especially after their dominant performances contributed to India’s retention of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 2-1 series victory over Australia earlier this year. Notably, Jadeja was chosen over Ashwin for all five Tests, including the previous match at The Oval, when India last toured England during the 2021-22 season.

While the spinners thrived on spin-friendly pitches during that series, Ashwin has showcased his ability to excel in all conditions, accumulating the third-highest number of wickets in the current WTC cycle, with 61 dismissals in 13 Tests.


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Experienced seamers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj are highly likely to lead India’s bowling attack, supported by Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, and the recalled all-rounder Shardul Thakur. Smith acknowledged India’s formidable bowling lineup, stating, “India possesses a formidable blend of seamers, swing bowlers, and spinners. They have a strong bowling attack. Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj are their primary weapons, and their spinners have excelled in these conditions. We will need to perform exceptionally well against them.”

Smith emphasized the significance of every game played for one’s country, considering each series as important. While the 50-over World Cup is still a distant event, the Australian team remains focused on their present Test commitments. “Every match you play for your country holds significance. Every series is vital. The 50-over World Cup is still a while away, and we will concentrate on it later. However, for now, our primary focus is on Test cricket, which remains at the forefront of our minds,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Michael Neser, who replaced the injured Josh Hazlewood in the Australian squad, has received praise from the former Australian captain. Smith expressed his confidence in Neser’s abilities and his potential to make a substantial impact if given the opportunity. “I have great faith in Michael Neser. He is an exceptional performer. I faced him recently while playing against Glamorgan, and he bowled brilliantly. He possesses remarkable skills, and we have witnessed him deliver inswinging deliveries when the wicket is relatively flat. Additionally, he is batting impressively. Neser is a complete package, and if he gets a chance, he will undoubtedly excel,” Smith remarked at The Oval.

As the countdown to the WTC final begins, cricket enthusiasts around the world eagerly anticipate witnessing the clash between two formidable teams. With both Australia and India boasting exceptional talent and a deep desire to claim the Test Mace, the stage is set for a thrilling encounter that will captivate fans and further elevate the status of Test cricket.


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