'I hope Australian PM's visit to India is as productive as it has been for Steven Smith's batting,' says PM Modi

Vishnu Sukumaran
Narendra Modi

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is on his first visit to India, and in a lighter vein, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that he hopes the visit is as productive as it has been for Australian cricket captain Steven Smith's batting.

Turnbull arrived in New Delhi on Sunday for a four-day visit to hold talks on ways to boost ties in key areas including defence, security, energy and trade.

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"I am delighted to welcome you on your first ever visit to India. Just last month, we witnessed a thrilling conclusion to the Border-Gavaskar trophy. In my speech at the Australian Parliament in 2014, I had spoken of legendary Bradman and Tendulkar. Today, Virat Kohli in India and Steven Smith in Australia are shaping the young brigades of cricket. I hope your visit to India is as productive as it has been for Steven Smith's batting," PM Modi said.

Steven Smith smashed three Test centuries in the recently-concluded tour, a rare achievement for an overseas batsman in India. He is also the first Australian to score three centuries in a Test series in India.

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PM Modi also highlighted that under PM Turnbull's leadership, the relationship between India and Austral has touched new milestones. And, that the visit gives the two countries an opportunity to shape new priorities in strategic partnership.

In their discussions on Monday, PM Modi and PM Turnbull reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations. "We took a number of forward-looking decisions to further strengthen our partnership, including the decision to soon hold the next round of negotiations on our Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement," PM Modi said.

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