AUS v IND 2020-21: “Steve Smith feeds off criticism,” Tim Paine warns Indian team before Gabba Test

Australian captain Tim Paine’s mind games continued as he warned Team India ahead of the fourth and final Test of the series, to be played at the Gabba, Brisbane. His warning was about seeing the best of Steve Smith in the upcoming Test match.

He claims that the star batsman is in the right frame of mind to perform and the criticism just adds to it.

Paine cites the example of the sandpaper gate and the criticism he received during that controversy, which made him more resolute to scoring runs for Australia and he did that in his comeback series in the Ashes.

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AFP quoted Tim Paine as saying, “Steve is in a good frame of mind. I think we’ve seen through what he’s been through in the last three years… he’s mentally very strong, very tough. He knows sometimes he’s going to be criticized and he’s handled that supremely well.”

“If anything, I think he feeds off it. His statistics speak for themselves and we’ll see the best of Steve Smith again this week,” he added.

The Australian side have lost their debutant opener from the SCG Test, Will Pucovski to a shoulder injury he copped while fielding on Day 5. He will now be replaced by the left-hander Marcus Harris, who made his Test debut against the same side when they toured in 2018-19.

“He’ll come in and open the batting and looking forward to seeing what he can do. He’s a no fuss, very good player,” Paine said about Harris.

(With inputs from AFP)

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