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Smith okay with verbose, sledging

Smith okay with verbose, sledging
Highlights

Visiting Australia team captain Steve Smith has left it to the discretion of his squad members to engage in verbal duels with the Indian players, or not, when the two outfits clash during the upcoming four-game rubber.

Mumbai: Visiting Australia team captain Steve Smith has left it to the discretion of his squad members to engage in verbal duels with the Indian players, or not, when the two outfits clash during the upcoming four-game rubber.

"I think each of our individual plays the way they want to play. If they want to get into battle verbally, if they get the best out of them, then (I say) go for it," said Smith at a media conference today ahead of the series commencing in Pune on February 23.

India and Australia have fought some bitter verbal battles - called sledging Down Under - in the past. The most notable of these verbal duels occured in Australia a decade ago when things got really ugly and the Anil Kumble-led Indian team threatened to abandon the tour in the wake of "Monkeygate" scandal, involving Harbhajan Singh of India and Australian all rounder Andrew Symonds.

"It's about making sure they have the right mindset as individuals to go out and succeed. Guys want to get into those battles verbally, if they get the best out of them, then go for it. (But) in the end it's about us playing on skills and making sure they are in the best place to succeed in these conditions," Smith added.

Australia, who are yet to win a Test in India since upsetting the hosts 2-1 in the best-of-three rubber way back in 2004-05, will commence their tour with a three-day warm-up game against an India A squad in Mumbai. "This is going to be a difficult tour and I am excited by that challenge. All of us are excited about what's to come in the next six weeks," said the 27-year-old Smith.

Smith, a regular in the Indian Premier League, is not new to Indian conditions but will be wary of Team India, who have not lost a Test series at home since losing to England in 2012 and have recorded comprehensive wins over Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and England.

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