Rohit Sharma explained it takes an "unorthodox" approach to bat well on Indian pitches after he led his team to a big victory against Australia.

India won the first Test on Saturday after establishing a healthy first innings lead before bowling the tourists out for just 91 to win by an innings and 132 runs.

Australia could not handle the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin in particular, with the spinner taking 5-37 in the second innings on a Nagpur surface that favoured spinners throughout.

In total, 24 of the 30 wickets to fall came via spin, but Rohit – who scored 120 in India's innings – detailed his approach to dealing with the conditions in his home country.

"The last few years the kind of pitches we have been playing in India, you've got to have application, a clear mindset and some sort of plan about how you want to go about and get those runs," he said at the post-match presentation.

"Since I started opening the batting, I have tried to figure out what can threaten me when I'm batting and working out my methods of scoring runs. I have grown up playing a lot in Mumbai on surfaces which turn a lot.

"I feel you need to be unorthodox as well, you need to use your feet, you need to get to the pitch of the ball, and at the same time try and put pressure on the bowler as well.

"You can't let the bowler bowl six balls on the spot, you've got to try and do something different, and that something different can be your way of doing it, whether it's stepping down the ground, sweeping, reverse sweeping, going over the top.

"There are so many things that you can do, and it's important when you play on pitches like that, you need to understand what is your strength, what are the things you can do and not look at anyone else. I tried to figure out what are things I can do, and I just try and go and apply myself out in the middle."

The win cements India's place in second place in the ICC World Test Championship, with it looking increasingly likely they will face Australia again in the final in June.

India now have a points percentage of 61.67, behind Australia in first (70.83 per cent) but ahead of third-placed Sri Lanka (53.33 per cent), and they will seal their place in the final with two more wins from the remaining three Tests in this series.

Rohit was pleased with the manner of the victory, saying: "It was the start of the series, very important [for] where we stand in the championship table, it was important for us to start well.

"We know when you're playing a series like this it's important to start well, and I was happy that I could put up a performance which could help the team."

Ravindra Jadeja has been fined 25 per cent of his match fee and given one demerit point for applying soothing cream to his finger during India's hammering of Australia in the first Test.

Jadeja was named player of the match on his return following knee surgery after taking 5-47 on day one before making 70 with the bat and claiming 2-34 as the tourists folded to 91 all out in their second innings.

Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers with 5-37 on day three, securing a crushing victory for India by an innings and 32 runs at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced after India took a 1-0 lead in the four-match series that Jadeja has been sanctioned for an incident on day one in Nagpur.

An ICC statement said: "India spin bowler Ravindra Jadeja has been fined 25 per cent of his match fee for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the first Test against Australia in Nagpur on Thursday.

"Jadeja was found to have breached Article 2.20 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to displaying conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game.

"In addition to this, one demerit point has been added to Jadeja's disciplinary record, for whom it was the first offence in a 24-month period.

"The incident occurred in the 46th over of Australia’s first innings, when Jadeja applied a soothing cream to a swelling on the index finger of his bowling hand without asking for permission to do so from the on-field umpires.

"Jadeja admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Andy Pycroft of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees, so there was no need for a formal hearing.

"In reaching his decision to sanction the player along with the Level 1 sanction he imposed, the Match Referee was satisfied that the cream was applied to the finger purely for medical purposes. The cream was not applied as an artificial substance to the ball and consequently it did not change the condition of the ball, which would have been in breach of clause 41.3 of the ICC playing conditions – Unfair Play – The Match Ball – Changing its Condition.

"On-field umpires Nitin Menon and Richard Illingworth, third umpire Michael Gough and fourth umpire KN Ananthapadmanabhan levelled the charge."

Ravichandran Ashwin put on a spin clinic as India thrashed Australia by an innings and 132 runs inside three days to win the first Test in Nagpur.

The hosts started the day with a lead of 144, not realising that would have been more than enough already, but added a further 79 as they were eventually all out for 400, in front by 223.

Victory for India was never in doubt, with the only debate around how soon the contest would be over.

Ashwin (5-37) then tore through the Australian top order with some unstoppable spin bowling, with the tourists skittled in their second innings for just 91.

After Saturday's action began, Ravindra Jadeja reached 70 before being bowled by Todd Murphy, while Axar Patel was finally sent back for 84 by Pat Cummins as India built a healthy lead.

Mohammed Shami added 37 from 47 balls before India set about trying to keep Australia from matching their efforts with the bat, and Ashwin set the tone as he got rid of Usman Khawaja for just five.

Jadeja trapped Marnus Labuschagne (17) lbw, while David Warner – who only scored two from his first 37 balls – hit back-to-back fours before also being dismissed via lbw by Ashwin for 10.

It was the start of an lbw bonanza for Ashwin, who repeated the trick to dismiss Matt Renshaw (2), Peter Handscomb (6) and Alex Carey (10) to claim five-for inside his first 10 overs bowled.

Not to miss out on the fun, Jadeja found the edge of Cummins to send the Australia captain back to the pavilion for just a single run, before Axar forced Murphy (2) to slice to Rohit Sharma for a simple catch.

Shami tidied things up, bowling Nathan Lyon (8) before trapping Scott Boland (0) lbw as India celebrated a surprisingly easy victory, leaving a partner-less Steve Smith not out on 25.

Ashwin stars again

It felt at times like Ashwin had a personal vendetta against any and all Australian legs that came along, spinning the ball into them with such regularity you were left wondering if you were watching another replay.

Having now taken 320 wickets on Indian soil, he has leapfrogged Shane Warne (319 wickets) to become the outright fifth leading wicket-taker in Test cricket in his home country.

Removal of Head decapitates Australian batting

The second innings capitulation was the second-lowest total from Australia against India in Test history (after 83 in Melbourne, 1981).

It will lead to questions again around the decision to leave out Travis Head despite his 525 runs at an average of 87.5 in his previous five Test matches, with his replacement, Renshaw, managing a total of two runs from his two innings.

Rohit Sharma completed a century for India on day two of the first Test against Australia – but that was just the start of the suffering for the tourists in Nagpur.

It proved to be a grim day for Australia, despite Todd Murphy, a 22-year-old Victoria off-spinner, taking five wickets on debut.

India racked up 321-7 by the close, leading by 144 after Australia were dismissed for 177 on day one at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.

Ravindra Jadeja followed up his five-wicket haul by leading a lower-order assault on Friday, sharing in an ongoing eighth-wicket stand of 81 with Axar Patel, both men making fifties. Jadeja reached 66 not out, with Axar 52no.

Rohit had lost opening partner KL Rahul just before the close on Thursday, so he returned in the morning looking for others to provide support, and it proved to be in limited supply.

Ravichandran Ashwin fell for 23, given out lbw after a review from Australia, and Cheteshwar Pujara (7), Virat Kohli (12) and Suryakumar Yadav (8) all went cheaply as India struggled to cope with the Australian spinners. Nathan Lyon coaxed out Suryakumar with a teasing delivery the batter went after but missed, the ball clattering into off stump.

Stability at the other end finally arrived in the shape of Jadeja, who helped to put on 61 for the sixth wicket before Rohit fell for 120, perishing to the new ball, Australia captain Pat Cummins uprooting his off stump moments after Steve Smith dropped the century-maker at slip.

That left India on 229-6 and Jadeja went on to reach a gritty half-century, while Murphy completed his five-wicket haul by having Srikar Bharat (8) pinned lbw, again getting the decision on review.

Axar's arrival helped India take the game away from Australia though, and when slip fielder Smith dropped Jadeja from the penultimate delivery of the day, frustration was etched across the face of every tourist.

Rohit's Australia breakthrough

In his eighth Test against Australia, Rohit made it to three figures for the first time. He previously had five 40-plus scores, but his highest score was the 63no he managed at Melbourne in the 2018 Boxing Day Test. This was his ninth Test century in all, and his first since making 127 against England at The Oval in September 2021.

It made Rohit, at the age of 35 years and 286 days, just the second India opener to score a Test century against Australia after turning 35, with Sunil Gavaskar the first to manage the feat.

Jadeja doubles up

This marks the sixth Test where Jadeja has taken five wickets in an innings and hit a half-century. Back in action after recovering from knee surgery, he is continuing where he left off with the bat against England last July, having hit a century at Edgbaston, albeit in a losing cause on that occasion.

Ravindra Jadeja marked his comeback with a five-wicket haul as Australia were bowled out cheaply by India on day one of the Test series at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.

Much of the talk ahead of the match in Nagpur was over the condition of the pitch and Jadeja took centre stage with the ball, where the tourists collapsed to 177 all out after Pat Cummins won the toss and elected to bat.

Jadeja, playing his first international since August after undergoing knee surgery, took 5-47 and Ravichandran Ashwin (3-42) reached the 450 Test-wicket milestone in fewer matches than any other India bowler as Australia folded from 84-2.

India were 77-1 at stumps in reply as part of a great start to their quest to lift the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Rohit Sharma unbeaten on 56 as both sides bid to secure a place in the World Test Championship final at The Oval in June.

Australia were reduced to 2-2 with Mohammed Siraj trapping Usman Khawaja leg before wicket with an outswinger before Mohammed Shami sent David Warner's off stump flying.

Marnus Labuschagne (49) and Steve Smith (37) put on 82 for the third wicket, but Jadeja had the number three stumped and was on a hat-trick after getting Matt Renshaw lbw early in the afternoon session.

Spinning all-rounder Jadeja struck a huge blow by bowling Smith through the gate, but Peter Handscomb – preferred to Travis Head – and Alex Carey briefly steadied the ship with a stand of 53.

Ashwin then came to the fore to join the 450 club, cleaning up Carey (36) and sending Cummins on his way before Jadeja got rid of debutant Todd Murphy without scoring and Handscomb (31).

Tweaker Ashwin saw the back of Scott Boland to end Australia's innings in the 64th over, and although Murphy had KL Rahul caught and bowled late in the day, Rohit was still there at stumps along with nightwatchman Ashwin.

Jadeja has his day in the sun

As he prepared to make his comeback this week, Jadeja said he "hadn't felt the sun for about five months" during his recovery.

Australia felt the heat as the left-armer shone on day one of the four-match series, claiming his 11th five-wicket Test haul.

This was his fourth five-wicket Test haul against Australia, the most he has claimed against any nation. Since the 34-year-old's debut in December 2012, only Stuart Broad (six) and Ashwin (five) have picked up more against Australia.

Ashwin second-fastest to 450

It was another day to remember for Ashwin, who took his tally of wickets in the longest format to 450 in his 89th match.

That beat the previous India record held by Anil Kumble, who reached that incredible tally in 93 contests. Only Muttiah Muralitharan got to the landmark in fewer matches, the Sri Lanka spinner achieving the feat in his 80th Test.

Pat Cummins is backing his Australia team to rise to the challenge of playing India on a potentially troublesome Nagpur pitch in the first Test.

The surface has been the subject of much debate ahead of this week's opener at VCA Stadium.

Images of the pitch appear to show bare patches that could cause left-handed batsmen some concern against India's spin bowling.

For Australia, that represents an issue, with several of their key batters – including openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja, Travis Head and wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey – left-handed.

Captain Cummins, preparing to name his team ahead of Thursday's first day, acknowledged the turning pitch would be "a factor".

Right-hander Peter Handscomb would appear to be one man likely to benefit, while spin bowler Todd Murphy is set to debut.

But Cummins is also looking forward to seeing how Australia "problem-solve", with Warner, Khawaja, Head and Carey all in good form in a series win against South Africa last time out.

"I think it looks a little bit dry for the left-handers," he said.

"And knowing how much traffic will probably go through there from the right-arm bowlers [from over the wicket], there potentially might be a fair bit of rough out there. That's something you've just got to embrace.

"It's going to be fun. It's going to be challenging at times, but our batters relish the chance to problem-solve on their feet and I think quite a few of them will get that chance this week."

India have a right-hand dominant batting line-up, but captain Rohit Sharma was understandably keen not to focus on the state of the wicket.

"I just feel that you've got to focus on the cricket that's going to be played for the next five days and not worry too much about the pitch," he said.

"The last series that we played here, a lot was spoken about the pitches and all that.

"I think all 22 cricketers who are going to play are all quality cricketers, so not to worry too much about what the pitch is going to be like, how much is it turning, how much is it seaming and all those kind of things.

"You've got to just come out and play good cricket and win the game, as simple as that."

 

Happy hunting ground

This will be India's seventh men's Test at VCA Stadium, and they have won four of the previous six, losing just once.

It will be the second meeting between India and Australia at this venue, with the tourists beaten by 172 runs back in November 2008.

Australia's bogey team

Based on recent results, India may not need help from the pitch to beat Cummins' side. Australia have lost only one of their past 10 Tests, but that was against India in January 2021.

India have won six of their past eight Test series against Australia, including the past three in a row. They have lost only one of the last 15 Tests between the teams.

The World Test Championship final will take place at The Oval between June 7 and 11, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed.

There will also be a reserve day on June 12 if necessary as the top two Test sides do battle to see who will lift the mace as world Test champions.

Those two teams are yet to be finalised, although Australia currently top the rankings while India, who they meet in a four-Test series starting on February 9, are second.

Sri Lanka and South Africa sit third and fourth respectively, with the latter set to take on reigning champions New Zealand in a two-Test series in February.

England are in hot pursuit in fifth after winning eight of their past nine Test matches, while West Indies also have a slim chance of making the final.

New Zealand's hopes of retaining the title they claimed by beating India by eight wickets in Southampton in 2021 are already over, having won just two Test matches since that famous victory.

Cameron Green looks set to miss Australia's first Test against India, with vice-captain Steve Smith suggesting it will be unlikely the all-rounder features in Nagpur.

Green suffered a fractured finger during the Boxing Day Test with South Africa in December, and has not played a first-class match since then.

He sustained a further knock to the injury while in a training camp ahead of Thursday's opening match, casting further doubt on his participation.

Now, Smith has indicated it will be a long shot for Green to feature at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, with the tourists reluctant to rush him back into the fray.

"I don't think he is [going to play]," he said. "I don't think he has even faced fast bowlers. So I dare say he won't be playing.

"Who knows [though]? I'm not entirely sure. We'll wait and see. But it's unlikely, I think."

Having eschewed a warm-up game ahead of the four-match series, Australia will be heading into their clash in Nagpur with only a few days on Indian surfaces under their belt.

Smith is reluctant to speculate how the pitch will affect his side's selections when it comes to their bowling attack, adding: "It's pretty dry.

"There's a section that's quite dry. Other than that, I can't really get a good gauge on it. I don't think there will be a heap of bounce in the wicket.

"I think for the seamers, it will be quite skiddy and maybe [have] a bit of up-and-down movement as the game goes on. The cracks felt quite loose. We'll wait and see when we get out there."

Steve Smith believes a series triumph in India would represent a bigger achievement for Australia than winning the Ashes.

Australia begin a four-match tour of India in Nagpur on Thursday, as they bid to win three successive men's Test series for the first time since doing so between November 2015 and February 2016.

The tourists are under no illusions as to the size of the task awaiting them in India, with their hosts only losing one of their last 15 Tests on home soil against Australia (W11 D3).

Having helped Australia to a crushing 4-0 series win over old rivals England in the last Ashes series in 2021-22, Smith believes a successful tour of India would beat that achievement.

"I think if we could win in India, that'd be bigger than an Ashes series," Smith told cricket.com.au.

"It's a difficult place to win a Test match, let alone a series, so if we were able to topple that mountain, it would be huge."

Team-mate David Warner echoed Smith's thoughts, saying: "Being a part of that last Ashes was fantastic, but to go to India and beat India is the toughest challenge in Test cricket for us.

"I'm really looking forward to the tour, it's always a hard graft and one thing I'm looking forward to is applying myself against the best spinners in the world."

While India have claimed victory in six of their last eight red-ball series against Australia, the tourists enter Thursday's first contest in excellent form, topping the world Test rankings and boasting a collective batting average of 46 since the start of 2022, the best of any team in that time.

Captain Pat Cummins also believes a series win in India would rank among the team's finest achievements, adding: "Winning a series in India is like an away Ashes series, but even more rare.

"I think that really is a career highlight, an era-defining series, if you can win one over there. So that's our opportunity and we can't wait.

Usman Khawaja "went Usain Bolt" to make his flight to India after a series of hold-ups delayed the batsman's departure from Australia ahead of this week's first Test.

Khawaja was forced to remain in Brisbane after not receiving a visa in time to make his scheduled flight last week, before two delayed flights further frustrated his bid to reach India. 

The batter was eventually forced to race through Delhi Airport to make the final leg of his journey to Bangalore, where he met up with his Australia team-mates ahead of the four-Test tour.

"I went Usain Bolt trying to make my connection," Khawaja told cricket.com.au. "I somehow got on that flight – the last flight of the whole night – and got here. 

"From the time I left Melbourne to here it was 24 hours. That's just life, you just have to deal with it. It's no biggie, I'm here now and ready to go."

While the delay meant Khawaja only managed a single training session before Australia departed for Nagpur ahead of the first Test starting on Thursday, he does not believe it will have an impact when the series gets under way.

He also shrugged off David Warner's claim of being "exhausted" ahead of the tour, saying: "Trying to get on seven different flights to get to India, then get here – we're all tired, we're all fatigued.

"That's just part and parcel of being a cricketer. Once you're on the field, it's just game on. It's the same with Davey.

"I've scored runs a lot of times when I have been tired and fatigued, you just have to find a way sometimes. I'm sure Davey will find a way."

India have only lost one of their last 15 men's Tests at home to Australia, while their current run of three successive series triumphs against the Aussies is the longest in their history.

However, Australia have only lost one of their last 10 Test series (W7 D2), and they could rack up three consecutive series wins for the first time since February 2016.

Josh Hazlewood's rotten luck with injuries has continued after he was ruled out of the opening Test between India and Australia.

Hazlewood, who has played only four Tests in the last two years, will not feature in Nagpur on Thursday due to an Achilles issue, with Scott Boland in line to play instead.

A side injury suffered against West Indies in November saw Hazlewood miss not only the second Test of that series, but also the first two matches against South Africa in December.

He returned for the final Test of that series, taking 5-57 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but will now have to recover from another niggle.

Hazlewood joins fellow paceman Mitchell Starc in missing the first Test of the four-match India series, while all-rounder Cameron Green is also a doubt, meaning an overseas bow for Boland is likely.

Boland has taken 28 wickets across his six Test appearances.

Discussing the injury, Hazlewood said: "It's still lingering from the [Sydney] Test match [against South Africa].

"We obviously bowled after a lot of rain and the jump-offs were quite soft, where we were taking off from and they ended up replacing them as well.

"It sort of worked to a degree, but just that extra load jumping off a soft ground to bowl and again first Test match your body is not used to that sort of workload as well.

"So we thought we'd give it a few days here straight off the bat and try and get over the hump and have a bowl from Tuesday and hope it goes well."

Boland has the full backing of his team-mate, however.

"Scotty has bowled plenty at the MCG when it was a flat wicket, it probably wasn't swinging or reverse swinging so he knows how to work hard for a long period of time," Hazlewood said.

"You've got Lance Morris who has worked hard on reverse swing for the last month and then a nice lead in here with a few sessions.

"The guys are excited first of all to play in the subcontinent, they both haven't yet, but they're very well qualified to do so."

Usman Khawaja travelled to India on Thursday after a resolution was found to the visa problem that saw him left behind when Australia Test team-mates departed.

The top-order batter had been due to fly out with Australia's players and staff across Tuesday and Wednesday amid a series of staggered flights.

That did not come to pass, with Khawaja remaining in Sydney amid issues with his visa in relation to his roots in Pakistan, the country of his birth.

Khawaja, 36, was born in Islamabad, and this was not the first time he has encountered issues in attempting to enter India to play cricket.

Yet this delay was only a short one, with Khawaja able to make the trip on Thursday.

He posted a picture of himself on board an aeroplane in Australia team leisurewear, adding the hashtags #incoming and #khawajyenroute.

Australia and India are due to contest the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in the coming weeks.

The four-match Test series begins on February 9 at Nagpur's Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, with games in Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad to follow.

Khawaja has played multiple times in India in the past, including in the Indian Premier League with Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016, and scored two centuries during an ODI tour in 2019.

In 2011, however, Khawaja was blocked from securing a visa for the T20 Champions League for New South Wales before the Indian high commission intervened.

Australia will be thankful he is available this time, given Khawaja enjoyed a remarkable 2022, earning a recall to the red-ball squad and top-scoring with 496 runs during their first tour of Pakistan since 1998.

He was named in the ICC Test Team of the Year alongside team-mates Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne and Nathan Lyon.

Khawaja was also named Australia's Test Player of the Year award this week, collecting the Shane Warne Award.

A devastating performance with bat and ball saw India seal a sensational series comeback with a record 168-run victory in their third and final T20I with New Zealand.

Shubman Gill's 126 not out powered the hosts to a freewheeling 234-4 in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, before they tore through their visitors at the crease for an emphatic win.

It is the biggest margin of victory India have ever recorded in the format, and marked something of an anticlimactic end to an otherwise close-fought series.

They are unlikely to care given the nature of their euphoric blowout, though the Black Caps will be concerned after failing to reach three figures in back-to-back games.

There were few signs at first glance Gill would turn in the sort of pyrotechnic performance that saw him star in the pair's ODI series last month.

After losing opening partner Ishan Kishan for just one, however, the opener carried the bat in a gangbuster turn, with a dozen fours and seven sixes off 63 balls.

Able support from Rahul Tripathi (44) and Hardik Pandya (30) helped him motor India to their fifth-best score in T20I history, and their highest against New Zealand. 

Hopes of mounting any serious pursuit felt slim for the Black Caps even before they crumpled, with Pandya (4-16) and Arshdeep Singh (2-16) combining for a brutal opening three overs to reduce them to 7-4.

Daryl Mitchell (35) stubbornly held his ground as a succession of partners came and went, helping to drag New Zealand from 21-5 to 53-6.

But further work from Shivam Mavi and Umran Malik curtailed any resistance as the tourists were bowled all out for 66.

Gill maintains 2023 hot streak

After matching the world record for the most runs in a three-game ODI series last month against New Zealand, the batter turned on the power again when it mattered.

A quiet few matches, with scores of just seven and 11, are faded memories now after his supremely assured performance this week.

Black Caps continue to stutter

After failing to hit the 100 mark last time out, a second successive game where they petered out in double figures is a major concern for New Zealand.

Their score of 66 is the third-lowest they have recorded in T20I history, behind the twin totals of 60 they posted against Sri Lanka in 2014 and Bangladesh in 2021.

Australia batter Usman Khawaja is stranded in Sydney awaiting visa approval to join his team-mates for their Test tour in India this month.

The top-order batter was due to fly out with the rest of the squad across Tuesday and Wednesday amid a series of staggered flights.

But Khawaja remains in New South Wales amid issues with his visa in relation to his roots in Pakistan, the country of his birth.

The 36-year-old was born in Islamabad, and has had prior issues in attempting to enter India to play cricket.

In 2011, he was blocked from securing a visa for the T20 Champions League for New South Wales before the Indian high commission intervened.

Khawaja took to social media to poke fun at his situation shortly after his team-mates departed for India, where Australia are due to contest the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

He has played multiple times in the country in the past, including with IPL outfit Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016, and scored two centuries during an ODI tour in 2019.

Khawaja enjoyed a remarkable 2022, earning a recall to the red-ball squad where he top-scored with 496 runs during their first tour of Pakistan since 1998.

He was named in the ICC Test Team of the Year alongside team-mates Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne and Nathan Lyon, as part of a leading four selections.

Australia begin their four-match Test series on February 9 at Nagpur's Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, with games in Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad to follow.

Steve Smith has backed Australia's call to skip a warm-up game ahead of their Test series in India, suggesting any match would offer insufficient preparation.

The tourists will play four matches starting in Nagpur next month, with games in Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad to follow.

But Pat Cummins' side will not play a tour game ahead of their red-ball series against their hosts, after their experiences on their last long-format visit six years ago.

On that occasion, Australia played out a draw with an India A side, but Smith feels the pitch they played on in Mumbai was too different to the rest of the tour.

"We normally have two tour games over in England. This time we don't have a tour game in India," he said in Sydney.

"The last time we went [to India], I'm pretty sure we got served up a green top [in the tour game], and it was sort of irrelevant.

"Hopefully, we get really good training facilities where the ball is likely to do what it's likely to do out in the middle, and we can get our practice in."

Australia are in pursuit of a first Test series win in India since 2004, having lost 2-1 in 2017 despite Smith posting 499 runs as top scorer.

Fresh from claiming a joint-record fourth Allan Border Medal, the former captain.hopes they can vindicate their decision to eschew a competitive warm-up.

"We'll wait and see when we hit the ground," he added. "I think we've made the right decision to not play a tour match.

"We're better off having our own nets and getting spinners in and bowling as much as they can."

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