Smith lauds 'outstanding' Australia

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Australia

Sydney, January 8: Australia captain Steve Smith praised his team for an "outstanding" Ashes, lauding the all-round contribution in the 4-0 series win over England.

A win by an innings and 123 runs in the final Test in Sydney on Monday saw the hosts seal an emphatic series victory.

Pat Cummins was the leading wicket-taker of the series with 23, but the rest of Australia's attack – Mitchell Starc (22), Josh Hazlewood (21) and Nathan Lyon (21) – all managed to take more than 20 wickets.

Smith, who won the Compton-Miller Medal as the player of the series, hailed his team for their performances.

"It's been a great couple of months. I think the cricket that we've played over the last couple of months has been outstanding," he told Channel 9.

"I saw something come up whilst we were out in the field yesterday and all the bowlers have taken over 20 wickets, so we haven't just relied on one person.

"All the guys have been there and done the job and shared it around which has been outstanding and obviously scoring big runs in the first innings has been key for us.

"Batters have stood up and got through difficult periods and just won those key moments which has been crucial in this series."

While the series score was one-sided, England had opportunities throughout their campaign.

Smith said his side's ability to deliver in crucial stages had proven the difference between the teams.

"I think England had their foot in the door in probably all of the Test matches," he said.

"They've played some exceptional cricket and we've just been able to get on top and win those key moments and not let them back in the game which has been crucial.

"I think it's a load of different things – belief, playing here at home, just knowing our roles and getting the job done.

"It's been a really exciting series and we've played some really good cricket which has been the most important thing."

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Monday, January 8, 2018, 10:00 [IST]
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