India v Australia 2017: Steven Smith rejects Harbhajan Singh's assertion, says his team is 'here to compete'

Smith subtly played down Harbhajan's statement saying his team is good enough to give hosts India a run for their money. The first Test starts at 9:30am in Pune.

Well legends always have something to say. India’s ace former off spinner Harbhajan Singh had said that Virat Kohli’s team will drub the visitors 4-0. Australian touring captain Steven Smith subtly played down Harbhajan’s statement saying his team is good enough to give hosts India a run for their money. The first Test takes place tomorrow, at 9:30 in the morning at Pune.

Steven Smith speaking to reporters about Harbhajan’s comment said, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, I don’t believe that’s the case. I’m confident in the squad and we’ve got here to compete against India”.

Adding on he spoke about the contest and said, “No doubt it’s going to be a difficult series. India have played some very good cricket off late, particularly at home. So we’re under no illusions there, it’s going to be tough. But we’ve got the squad here that can compete in these conditions”.

Admitting that they will start as underdogs he said, “Yes, I guess we are the underdogs in this series. You hear comments like Harbhajan who expect us to lose 4-0. That’s not how we feel. We want to compete here against India. It’s going to be a tough series, they’ve got some quality players in their line-up. So yes, it’s going to be difficult.”

He also outlined his own expectations from his boys and said, “But I guess what I want to see from my boys is ability to adapt to the plans we have in place, show some fight and resilience in tough situations. There are going to be difficult moments in games, some key moments that we need to identify. Hopefully, we can have the skills, plans and mindsets in place to counter those difficult moments”.

About the composition he will field he said, “We don’t have a team as yet. We’ll wait until the toss to announce that. But we’ve got a few options, got a very big squad here to cover all options. At the moment, the wicket looks incredibly dry for a day before the Test match. So it will depend on what sort of combination we want to go in with”.