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History on skipper Smith's side

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Statistics say Steve Smith will relish his debut as Australian captain when the second Test against India starts at the Gabba on Wednesday.

Australia have not suffered a Test defeat in Brisbane since 1988, a year before Smith was born.

And a repeat of the bouncy wicket that helped Australia’s Mitchell Johnson terrorise England in last season’s 381-run first Ashes Test win has been prepared.

Plus India have never won a Test in Brisbane – albeit in just five appearances.

Remarkably, India have played just five Tests in Brisbane since their first outing in 1947 – their best result being a draw the last time they visited in 2003.

Then there’s the record of returning India captain MS Dhoni.

He has won just six out of 28 Tests outside India.

And if they lose the three remaining Tests this tour, Dhoni will become the most defeated captain away from home in the game’s history.

Smith can’t wait to unleash Test debutant Josh Hazlewood in a new-look pace attack featuring Mitchell Starc but without Ryan Harris (quad) and an out-of-sorts Peter Siddle.

“After the wickets we’ve played … at the Adelaide Oval and the two in the UAE (against Pakistan) it’s exciting for our fast bowlers to finally have something that’s going to have some liveliness to it,” Smith beamed.

In injured skipper Michael Clarke’s absence, Smith has moved himself up to No.4.

Recalled Shaun Marsh will bat at No.5 ahead of sibling Mitchell, ensuring they become the seventh set of Australian brothers to play a Test together and first since the Waughs in 2002.

Smith will be Australia’s 45th Test captain, and youngest since Kim Hughes in 1979.

 

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