Melbourne: Premier Australian batsman Steve Smith admitted that he has let Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin dictate terms in their contest so far, something which he probably never let any spinner do in his career.
Smith has had poor returns with a highest score of just 8 in four innings of the ongoing Test series and has twice been dismissed by Ashwin.
Ruing the chances missed, Smith wished he had played Ashwin with more command and aggression in the series so far.
“I probably haven’t played Ashwin as well as I would’ve liked. I probably would’ve liked to have put him under a bit more pressure”, Smith told.
“I’ve sort of let him dictate terms and that’s something I’ve probably never let any spinner do in my career. I’ve sort of taken it to them, been a bit more aggressive and made them change things”, he added.
The 31-year-old Smith said he is desperate to stay at the crease for a long innings, which could be the reason for unable to play his natural game against spin.
“I haven’t allowed that to happen, probably because I’m searching for just being out there for long enough. It’s kind of a two-edged sword in a way, but I think I’ve just got to have the confidence to take it on and play my game,” said Smith.
The batsman also stressed that the most important thing for him was to just be in the middle for longer to try and work his way out of a rut.
“At the moment I’m searching for time in the middle; that’s the most important thing for me. When I look at this year, 64 balls are the longest I’ve spent in the middle, during those one-day games,” he said.
“For me, that’s important. I find a lot of rhythm out in the middle. You can bat as much as you want in the nets but there’s nothing that can replicate what a game can do, so that for me is what I’m searching for at the moment,’ he added.
However, he acknowledged that it won’t be easy for him given that the Indian bowling attack has been relentlessly accurate.
“That can be tough to do, particularly in a Test match when you’ve got some quality bowlers,” he concluded.