Australian captain Steven Smith during a press conference ahead of the India vs Australia test series. Pic/PTI
It was Australia's tumultuous tour in 2013 that shaped the career of Steve Smith, the batsman. The current Australian skipper's scores of 92, 5, 46 and 18 in the final two Tests of that series enhanced his reputation as one of the best players of spin in the world.
Since that tour, Smith has taken his game to another level, and has arrived in India to further develop his art against two of the finest spinners in the business — Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. However, his predecessor, Michael Clarke, who was also regarded as a fine player of spin, averaged just 32.1 in his last two tours.
One of the areas that makes Smith a brilliant player of spin is that he's quick to dance down the pitch and hit ball through the leg-side. But recently, in the Australian summer, he has altered his path, preferring to stay back and play more off the back foot.
Asked if this was a deliberate ploy ahead of the Indian series, Smith said: "I did advance once at the start of the summer and got out LBW. So, I decided to stay back in my crease a little bit. I have different game plans where I play, and how I play spin. That's going to change from playing at the WACA to the first Test in Pune. I'm pretty clear with the way I play."