'Kohli better than Smith in limited overs'

Michael Clarke has said the top three of the Indian batting namely Rohit Sharma Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli hold the key to the team’s success in the upcoming series against Australia starting on September 17

"It's going to be an exciting series", he added. "That's the hallmark of a champion side", Laxman said. "Both Virat and (Steven) Smith are modern day greats". The impact they have had at the worldwide level is exemplary. "As long as no one crosses the line and they play with sportsman spirit, I don't see it to be a problem if they aren't friends", said Laxman. Keeping that in mind, Clarke wants Australians to understand not just the conditions but also the surrounding, "It's not just the wicket you are batting on or the ground you are playing, it's the heat, the food you eat, the hotel you are staying at". Don't go by the dictionary meaning of rested.

Pacer Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami have been recalled while youngster Shardul Thakur has been dropped. "Smith wasn't very proactive during the Test series". After making the final of the Champions Trophy, they recorded series wins in the West Indies and Sri Lanka.

Laxman was delighted by the progress of Hardik Pandya. "The spin department is where we've seen a lot of experimentation in order to get a good wrist spinner, and also the finisher's role". Kohli had once said that Chahal doesn't fear bowling during any stage of an innings.

Laxman agreed, "It doesn't matter if they are verbal on the field but they have to show that high level of competitiveness which will always happen when India plays Australia".

The comparisons between Smith and Kohli are inevitable.

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Australia all-rounder James Faulkner yesterday said experience of playing in the IPL and last year's ICC World Twenty20 in India will hold the visitors in good stead in the upcoming limited over series here. While India will have the advantage of being on home turf, Australia will take heart from the fact that in limited-overs cricket, they are a gun side in all conditions. "Smith, I believe, is a better Test batsman", Clarke said during a media interaction in Delhi on Tuesday.

"I think this team has certainly got that aggression in them... they are led by an aggressive captain". At the moment, Kohli's team is winning. "Smith needs to find a way to crack that momentum early on in the series and needs to find a way for Australia to pick it again".

Players like David Warner, Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins have had successful IPL stints and Clarke said the team should have no excuses in the shorter format. I have been battling - to be honest - probably the last 18 months, so it's been nice to be home with my team-mates in Tassie [Tasamania] and hit the gym hard. The boys are eager to get out there and play some good cricket.

Having made winning a habit and boasting of a renewed vigour and aggression under the new captain Virat Kohli, comparisons were bound to happen between the present Indian squad and the Australian team in its prime.

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