Steven Smith has    AFP
Steven Smith has 8 ODI tons AFP

Chennai: Australia skipper Steve Smith on Saturday brushed aside Virat Kohli staying ahead in the race for One-Day International (ODI) centuries, saying India play a lot more limited overs cricket than them. Kohli currently has 30 centuries in 194 ODIs to Smith’s eight in 98 50-over games. Among the best batsmen in the world right now, Kohli and Smith are always compared with New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, England’s Joe Root and South Africa’s AB De Villiers combining all formats.

“I think India play a lot more ODI cricket than we do. I’m not sure how many games Virat has played. He is a very good player,” Smith said when asked about the ratio. “I am not worried about personal accolades. I am here to try and win a series. The Indian team has a very good top seven and all guys are capable of scoring big runs. Our bowlers have to be on the top of their game to keep them quiet this series,” the 28-year-old added.

On the significance of the series leading up to the World Cup in England in 2019, Smith said, “We have about 30 ODI games before the World Cup. For us it is about trying to find the right group of players to fill all slots. “Conditions are obviously slightly different to what they will be in England. But I think it is a good opportunity to put their names up there and hopefully win some games for Australia.”

Smith said losing Shikhar Dhawan for the first three ODIs is a blow to India. “I think Shikhar has obviously been playing well for India for the last year or so at the top of the order. Obviously it is tough for them. Hope everything is okay with him,” he said.

“I think they still have got a very strong batting line-up whether KL Rahul opens or Ajinkya Rahane does. I am not sure but we are ready for both. They have a strong top-six or seven.”

Smith also said Travis Head had been kept to bat at no.4, insisting that the absence of Finch didn’t change things. “Nothing really changes. I’ll tell you Travis will probably bat at four. I won’t give too much away other than that. There’s a good chance he’ll be filling the No. 4 spot,” the Aussie skipper said.