Proud Steve Smith praises ‘bold’ Australia selectors
An elated Steve Smith spoke of his pride and hailed Australia’s selectors after regaining the Ashes with a thumping victory over England in Perth.
Australia skipper Smith was named man of the match for the second time in three Tests, having compiled a career-best 239 as his side moved 3-0 up in the five-match series.
Rain threatened to deny the hosts victory on day five at the WACA, but they ultimately had plenty of time to dismiss England for 218 – thanks largely to Josh Hazlewood’s five-wicket haul – and triumph by an innings and 41 runs.
“I’m just so proud of the boys – the way we’ve been able to win this series and wrap things up here in Perth, 3-0 up and to get that urn back, it’s quite amazing,” said Smith in the post-match presentation.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) December 18, 2017
Smith shared a mammoth partnership with Mitchell Marsh in Australia’s first innings, the all-rounder emphatically justifying his call-up by scoring 181 – his maiden Test hundred.
Shaun Marsh, a centurion in Adelaide, wicketkeeper Tim Paine and rookie opener Cameron Bancroft have also made significant contributions to Australia’s success in the opening three Tests.
“It’s just an amazing achievement from this group and I think a lot of credit has got to go to the selectors as well,” added Smith.
“They made some really bold moves at the start of the series and everyone they’ve picked has come in and done a terrific job, so a lot of credit has got to go to those guys.”
Asked about the wild weather that delayed the start of play on Monday, a grinning Smith said: “It was horrible last night. I’ve never seen weather like that here in Perth. It’s usually absolutely beautiful. We thought it was going to clear this afternoon and we knew if we had enough time and we got the ball in the right areas enough, we’d be in for a show.
“We’re going to celebrate this one. It’s not every day you win an Ashes series, so I’m sure we’ll have a pretty good time tonight and really enjoy it.
“Then we’ll get to Melbourne for a Boxing Day Test match – it’s an amazing occasion, particularly an Ashes one, and hopefully we can keep playing some really good cricket and get ourselves 4-0 [up] and then maybe 5-0 in Sydney as well.”