Captaining in India like playing 'chess', every ball means something - Steve Smith
Steve Smith relished captaining Australia to a famous Test win in Indore as the tourists bounced back in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by outperforming their much-vaunted Indian hosts.
The Australian modern-day batting legend said captaining in these conditions can be likened to playing "chess", wherein every ball and move "means something".
Smith was soaking in the glory of a rare victory on Indian shores after going down inside three days in both Nagpur and Delhi. The Aussies turned the tables on their great arch-rivals on what was perhaps the toughest track of the series.
No team managed to reach the 200-mark in a low-scoring Test match where the home side got bundled out for 109 and 163 against a spin attack led by the great Nathan Lyon, who took figures of 3/35 and 8/64 in the two innings and finished with the 'Player of the Match' award.
Steve Smith relishes captaincy in India after Indore Test win
"Look, India is a part of the world I love captaining," said Smith at the post-match press conference having led Australia to their second Test win on Indian shores under his captaincy. "It’s a game of chess, every ball means something. It’s good fun moving people and trying to make the batter think and something different and just playing games with them. It’s probably my favourite place in the world to captain."
Smith, who was Australia's skipper on the 2017 tour where the visitors pulled off an impressive win in Pune on a similar raging turner and put India under huge pressure before losing the four-match series 2-1, said he enjoys captaining the side in Indian conditions more than even the Australian shores back home.
"You think back home in Australia, you generally play with a third slip or putting a square leg up or back or pulling a third slip to cover… there’s not much that goes on, you sort of stick to the same game plan and trust what you are trying to do there."
"In this part of the world, you have to be very proactive. Every ball is an event and that ball can dictate what happens the ball after. Something that I really love. I thought I did it well this week and it was good fun."
As much as he enjoyed standing up for the side, Smith, however, said he has no plans to push for regular captaincy anymore and is hoping to provide absent skipper Pat Cummins the support he requires as a Test leader.
"No, my time is done," Smith said when asked if there is a possibility we may see him returning to Test captaincy at some stage. "It’s Paddy’s (Pat Cummins) team now. I’m glad I’m able to stand in this week in the circumstances obviously with Paddy going home. Our thoughts are still with him back home as well."