Ashes 2019: Steve Smith still trying to get better after batting heroics

By Sports Desk September 15, 2019

Steve Smith insists he will continue to work to get better despite an outstanding series for Australia as they retained the Ashes in England.

Former captain Smith, making his Test return after a 12-month ban for his role in the team's ball-tampering scandal, was named the player of the series on Sunday after producing a number of sensational displays.

England earned a 2-2 draw by winning the fifth match at The Oval as Smith made just 23 in the second innings – by far his lowest total of the tour – yet his performances to that point had almost singlehandedly ensured the urn would return to Australia.

He scored 144 and 142 as Australia won the first Test at Edgbaston and then again starred in their second win, making 211 and 82 at Old Trafford in the fourth match.

Smith is not content to rest on his laurels following these efforts, though, determined he will do whatever he can to keep winning matches for Australia.

"Of course you always want to get better as a player," he said. "I'll continue to try to get better as long as I play.

"That's the key, I think. You've got to keep working hard. Nothing's ever too much, you've just got to keep working hard and try to do whatever you can to win the game for your team. I'll continue to do that as long as I can."

The ball-tampering scandal meant Smith was jeered by England fans throughout the tour, yet he received a standing ovation after being bowled out for the final time on Sunday.

"It meant a lot. It's been an amazing couple of months in England, with the World Cup and the Ashes. The cricket has been absolutely spectacular," he said.

"The series has ebbed and flowed throughout and there's been some terrific cricket played. I've loved every minute. I'm really proud to be able to perform for Australia and help to bring the urn home."

Australia came up 135 runs short of England in the fifth match, though, unable to secure even a fifth day as Smith rued his and his team-mates' failure to help Matthew Wade, who smashed 117.

"We thought the middle of the wicket still played pretty well and Matthew Wade showed that if you applied yourself and had really good plans and keep taking the game on, you can score runs," he added.

"He batted beautifully. Unfortunately, he didn't have many of us stick around with him long enough to help the team out.

"But England played some terrific cricket throughout this Test match and throughout this series as well. It's been great fun to be involved in."

Related items

  • Phil Simmons confirmed as Windies head coach amidst massive overhaul of selection system Phil Simmons confirmed as Windies head coach amidst massive overhaul of selection system

    Cricket West Indies (CWI) has confirmed the appointment of former West Indies player, Phil Simmons as the Head Coach of the West Indies Senior Men’s Team for a period of four years, as well as the appointment of three new selection panels.

     Phil Simmons was confirmed as the Head Coach during a meeting of the CWI Board of Directors today, following the conclusion of a short but intensive recruitment process.  The Board had made it clear prior to the start of the recruitment process in September that “persons without West Indian heritage need not apply.”

    Simmons served previously for a short period as Head Coach of the West Indies Senior Men’s team, during which he coached the team to the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup title, following which he was controversially dismissed.

    He served since as the Head Coach of Afghanistan, who he helped qualify for the first time for the 2019 ICC ODI CWC. His tenure as head coach of Ireland, saw them improve their ICC rankings and qualify for all major ICC events. Simmons’ latest coaching success came just two days ago when he coached the Barbados Tridents to the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League title with an impressive victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors in Saturday’s Final.

     “Bringing Phil Simmons back is not just righting a past wrong, but I am confident that CWI has chosen the right man for the job at the right time. I want to also thank the very talented Floyd Reifer for the hard work he put in while he was the interim coach,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

    CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams said he was pleased with the appointment.

     “I am happy, after a very robust recruitment process at the appointment of Phil to the role of head coach. I have no doubt that Phil brings the requisite leadership skills and experience needed to drive improvement across our international squads and I look forward to supporting him in the role,” Adams said.

     CWI also announced the appointment of three new Men’s, Women’s and Girls’ Panel, and Boys’ Selection Panel following a recruitment process that ran parallel to the selection of the new coach.

    The recommendation of a new CWI selection structure and policy were the main outputs of the report of the Selection System Review Task Force, presented by Vice President Shallow at the September Board meeting in Tobago.  Eighteen (18) candidates were considered and evaluated for the five positions across the three Selection Panels. The CWI recruitment panel unanimously selected the following candidates who have now been confirmed:

    Roger Harper is now the lead selector while Miles Bascombe has been named to the selection panel. 

    The selection panel for the WI Women's and Girls consists of lead selector Ann Browne-John and selector Travis Dowlin.

    Robert Haynes has been appointed Talent ID Manager.

    The Head Coach of each team will complete the makeup of each of the respective panels.

    “We have been delighted at the interest and quality of candidates who participated in the recruitment process to fill the roles for the Selection Panels," said CWI Vice President Dr. Kishore Shallow. "These roles are vital to execute the new selection policy to select squads for the West Indies teams at every level. We wish the selectors every success as they commence work immediately.”

    Commenting on the Selection Panels, Jimmy Adams said that with the comprehensive revamp of the CWI selection system including the introduction of separate panels he was confident "that our ability to identify and manage talent will be enhanced. I have all confidence that the new system, along with the selectors chosen to the various panels will continue to help drive our game in this critical area. “

    The Selection Panels have already begun work with the West Indies Men’s team preparing to play Afghanistan in India in November in three T20 Internationals, three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and one Test match. The Men’s team will then stay in India to play three T20Is and three ODIs before returning home before Christmas.

     Meanwhile, the West Indies Women will host India Women for three  ODIs and five T20Is starting on November 1.

    The West Indies Under-19 team will host a triangular series with Sri Lanka and England Under-19s in December as they prepare for the ICC Under-19 World in January in South Africa.

     The Men’s Teams squads will be announced in a press conference at 11 am at Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad on Tuesday, November 16.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Phil Simmons to be named West Indies head coach - reports Phil Simmons to be named West Indies head coach - reports

    News is emerging that Phil Simmons will be the new head coach of the West Indies Senior Men’s team.

  • Mings handed debut as Southgate rings changes for Bulgaria v England Mings handed debut as Southgate rings changes for Bulgaria v England

    Tyrone Mings will make his international debut in England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia.

    The Aston Villa centre-back has been selected ahead of Everton's Michael Keane, with England boss Gareth Southgate ringing the changes after Friday's surprise 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic.

    Ben Chilwell comes in at left-back for the suspended Danny Rose, whose Tottenham team-mate Harry Winks will operate at the base of the midfield as Declan Rice drops to the bench.

    Southgate has turned to two relatively more experienced heads in the form of Ross Barkley and Marcus Rashford, who replace Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho respectively.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.