Australian media trolled for taking a dig at Team India

Speaking at a news conference Monday as India's players surprised observers by taking a rest day three days out from the start of the first test, Pujara said Ashwin had been working hard to conquer his record of under-performance in Australian conditions.

Mostly green and often downtrodden, the humble grass on which the highly-anticipated Australia-India Tests will be played doesn't normally attract as many headlines as superstars Virat Kohli and Mitchell Starc. Throw in Australia being without Smith and Warner, and it points to India starting as overwhelming favourites.

I had been given a most believable forecast of an Indian win, straight from the horse's mouth, on the fourth evening of the Melbourne Test.

"When you're batting at the other end with Steve Smith it takes your mind off the fact you're out there, you can switch off and watch him do his work - pretty awesome to watch". You can put a few fielders out (on the boundary) early on; don't let him get any boundaries. Perhaps do not pass as competitive at him early on. So it was decided that each batsman was responsible for a bowler, so I realised that the only way I can score runs was by rotating the strikes.

This set the stage for Warne v Tendulkar round two, and it was the batsman who came out on top on a dusty, spin-friendly wicket. "We have to make sure we are playing a positive brand of cricket", said Lyon. They're in our backyard.

"If you can get through these (training sessions) you can get through anyone in the world, so it will be an exciting week; a challenging week facing them". The right-arm quick has sent down just one delivery to Kohli, but it brought a wicket - an edge to second slip during the drawn third Test in Ranchi in March 2017.

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"With the expectation of defeating Australia comes pressure". A lot of their other guys haven't, a lot of other guys haven't had that much success, certainly away from home. Clive Lloyd used to say a visiting team had to be twice as good as the Aussies to win in their lair. But the Indian skipper is insisting he has grown up and will not be looking for confrontations, although he added that "if they want to play a certain way we will reciprocate".

When asked about targeting India's lone spinner R Ashwin in this match, he replied the game-plan is going to be quite similar for even the Indian batsmen.

Australia hasn't been a happy hunting ground for foreign spinners in recent times.

"We're not going to take Australia lightly". If we play six right-handers, they will play Ravindra Jadeja who is another good bowler. He will vie for a place in the playing XI with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who has 185 wickets and 1,395 runs to his name from 39 Test matches.

"You see their bowling attack, they've got a really good bowling attack, and I think to win test matches, you need to have a really good bowling attack".

  • Julie Sanders