Won't shy away from verbal battle against India, says Steve Smith

The previous year has been a bit of a roller coaster ride with regard to results. Opponents boasting 19 Tests without defeat, and six consecutive series wins.

Clarke said he was "hopeful" of an Australian series win but cautioned "worst case, they have to compete with this India team". "That we were able to get a result on this kind of track is a credit to our bowlers". I am happy with where everything is at the moment. Obviously it's going to be a hard tour but we're excited by that challenge.

Waugh believes that although the Aussies have some surprise elements in their side, it is the senior players like David Warner, who will be crucial for them.

"He encouraged me. He said I had the potential to have a long and successful worldwide career and advised me to work really hard". Try and keep things quite tight and when you get a sniff, just go for it. The moment you just start defending, you're in trouble. "It is not only (about) spinners, but they have some great fast bowlers". "Defence is going to be incredibly important for us in this series with the bat". India, who is at numero uno spot in the ICC ratings, will take on the mighty Australians at home, conditions that will test the visitors. "I learnt a little about that in Sri Lanka". "The guys need to stay calm under pressure", Waugh, 51, added.

On coming down to wicket against spinners: I did advance once at the start of the summer and got out LBW. You can do that in Australian wickets which are pretty consistent with their turn and bounce. So, hopefully we can formulate some game plans to get on top of them.

"Ishant's spell in the second innings was outstanding, coming and bowling with a soft ball, getting a bit of reverse (swing) and bowling with pace was really good to see".

"I look to push myself, throw myself around in the field so that other guys know that they also have to push for a wicket".

"May be he is right, but I will love to challenge Sourav on that part". Smith fronted the media after landing in Mumbai on Tuesday (February 14) and said the players won't hold back from engaging in a verbal battle. There is a change in the way he is opening the batting and his redefined role is pretty incredible.

"If they (individuals) want to get into a battle verbally, and that gets the best out of them then go for it", said Smith.

"But in the end it's about us playing on skill and making sure that our skills are in the best place for us to succeed in these conditions". Australia, nonetheless, will play the last Test of the gruelling series from March 25.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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