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Smith ready for ‘new era’

Smith ready for ‘new era’

LONDON: Newly-appointed Australia captain Steven Smith on Wednesday said he was ready for a “new era” as he prepared to lead them for the first time since Michael Clarke’s retirement.

Australia face Ireland in Belfast on Thursday in what will be the first ODI since beating New Zealand in the World Cup final in Melbourne in March.

“I’m very excited,” Smith, 26, told travelling Australian media in Belfast on Wednesday.

“Obviously, I’ve known for a little while now that I was going to be taking over the one-day squad, so I’ve been working pretty hard and preparing [for] everything coming up.”

He added: “The last time this group was together, we won a World Cup, so I don’t think we have to change a whole heap. We’re currently No.1 in the world. I think for us now, it’s just about raising that bar and continuing to get better each day.”

Although Australia’s squad contains several World Cup-winners in Smith, David Warner, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc, it also includes the likes of uncapped players such as Joe Burns and Mar­cus Stoinis.

“I guess it’s a new era in a way for Australian cricket,” said Smith. “But they’re really excited and I’m really excited to see them do well on this tour.”

And Smith added the presence of the newcomers could help ease the pain of an Ashes defeat.

“It’s been a tough tour for us. It’s disappointing to have lost the Ashes,” Smith said.

“[But we have a] new group now with some younger, newer guys who hopefully can bring some exuberance and energy to help lift the spirits a bit and help get back on track [and] hopefully start my career in captaincy on this one-day tour on a winning note.” — AFP

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2015

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