Pune - Steve Smith dismissed predictions Wednesday that
Australia face another series whitewash against India but admitted they had to
show more fight to have any chance of stopping the world's number one Test
Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and veteran spinner
Harbhajan Singh have both forecast a clean sweep for the hosts when the arch
rivals begin their four-Test series on Thursday in Pune.
India, who are on a record-breaking 19-match unbeaten run,
toppled Australia from the top of the Test rankings back in August when Smith's
side were beaten 3-0 in Sri Lanka.
That was the third time in a row that the Australians had
lost all of their Tests in away series against teams from the sub-continent, a
sequence which began with a 4-0 reverse in India in 2013.
But speaking to reporters on the eve of the first Test,
Australia skipper Smith said the tourists knew they were in for a difficult
series but rejected the idea that another whitewash was on the cards.
"I don't believe that's the case. I'm confident in the
squad we've got here to compete against India," he said.
"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."
Smith said Australia were determined not to dwell too much
on their most recent performances on the sub-continent but admitted that a
repeat would spell disaster.
"Obviously some of the away performances of late
haven't been up to standard from my point of view and the Australian cricket
team's point of view," he said.
"We want to change the way we play away from home. We
want to be more adaptable to conditions and show some fight.
"For me it's starting things fresh. We have come here
with a positive mindset. The more we think about the last time we came here or
Sri Lanka, we start to lose."
After the match in Pune, the two sides are also due to play
Tests in Bangalore, Ranchi and Dharamsala.