Sydney, Jan 8 Australia batsman Steve Smith said that he decided to take a more positive approach while facing India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin during the third Test on Friday. Smith, who failed to cross single digit in the previous two matches, scored a masterful 131 on Friday.
Ashwin had dismissed him three out of the previous four times in the series but the Indian spinner ended up wicketless in Australia's first innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
"I decided to be a bit more positive. Early on I hit him over his head, sort of just put a bit of pressure on him to bowl where I wanted him to bowl. It was a concerted effort. And I was happy with the way I played him," Smith told the media after the second day's play.
Smith said he made no tactical changes during the innings. "Just be a bit faster on my feet, in particular against the spin, a bit quicker on my feet. Put pressure on [him], come down the wicket sometimes, play off the backfoot a bit better, but against the quicks nothing different," he said.
Smith said that he did not feel that he was out of form in Tests.
"No, not really. I read a lot of things as I think I've said numerous times and plenty of people said I was out of form so it was nice to come back into form, if that's what you want to call it," he said.
"I love playing here at the SCG, it's a great place to bat, my home ground. I think my mum and dad were here so able to see that and just proud to get three figures on the board and spend some time out in the middle and help us post a decent score," Smith said.
His century, which was his 27th in Test cricket, helped Australia reach 338 in the first innings. "I think it's a decent total. It would have been nice to score a few more, you always [prefer] many more. The wicket is a bit up and down, we've seen a couple balls have kicked up off a length, a couple have shot low," he said.
In reply, India openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill put up a partnership of 70 runs to get the visitors off to a good start. However, both were dismissed in fairly quick succession towards the end of the day's play.
"I think the boys bowled pretty well this evening and if we continue to bowl really disciplined tomorrow, I think we're going to get some opportunities. It could have easily been three or four tonight the way the boys went about it. We're in a good place, hopefully we can start well in the morning and build some pressure and go from there," said Smith.
( With inputs from IANS )
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