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Virat Kohli will be watchful of the explosive Steven Smith[/caption]
The Indian team after a flawless start to 2017 take on nemesis Australia at home. The two teams have had a similar impact in terms of performance and utility in the last year. But the test this time around will be of nerves than of talent.
On one hand you have Virat Kohli who is unapologetic about his form and on the other you have Steve Smith, a batsman who is slowly and rationally closing in on the Indian skipper in terms of reputation and ability to win. This time around it will be more than just the two men fighting to win, this time around it will be who can marshal the nerves more potently.
India have Ashwin and that in itself is a relief for the hosts and a big challenge for Nathan Lyon, who can become menacing if conditions are to be accounted for. But for India, the challenge is not if Ashwin will click, it is who will score the runs at the top and middle order with Australia's bowling assault in sublime form?
Ashwin will not, however, forget the way Lyon put Australia in the driver's seat with a 12 wicket haul in the Adelaide test and Lyon recently quipped "I have been watching a lot of footage of Ashwin, the way he goes about it, his different release points,". That in itself can be a warning somewhat to Ashwin to not reveal his trade secrets and play his cads close to his chest.