Former cricketer Michael Hussey conceded that Ravichandran Ashwin has got some wood over Steve Smith after the India off-spinner dismissed the former Australia captain once again on Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne on Saturday.
Ashwin got Smith out for duck down the leg side in the first session of the match to deliver a massive blow to the Aussies. It was the first time Smith got out without opening his account in international cricket against India.
“He (Ashwin) has got some wood over Steve Smith and that was annoy him. It was a strange shot from him he seemed to have poked at it.
"It was almost as if he was giving catching practice. He wasn’t the decisive Steve Smith that we are used to seeing against spin. There’s obviously something unsure about him when he’s facing Ashwin,” Hussey said on ESPNCricinfo.
Ashwin bagged 3 wickets while Jasprit Bumrah got four as India bowled out Australia for 195 after the hosts elected to bat first at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Hussey said Australia's technique against the spin bowling of Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja could have been better.
“Australia’s technique against the spin a lot of them are pushing hard at the ball and that brings those close in fielders on the leg side if there’s any turn.
"He got bounce and that was due to him coming on early. The ball was still hard and that’s what worries the Australian batsmen. There’s plenty of natural variations as well. It was a quality performance once again,” Hussey said.
India took honours on the first day as they ended at 36 for 1 in reply to Australia's first innings total. Shubman Gill (28 not out) and Cheteshwar Pujara (7*) will resume the innings on Day 2 with India trailing the hosts by 159 runs with 9 wickets in hand.