Extra pace of Australian bowlers made difference - Steven Smith

Josh Hazlewood (left) was Australia's hero on the final day
Josh Hazlewood (left) was Australia's hero on the final day
©REUTERS
 

Australia captain Steven Smith lavished praise on his team's pace trio following the innings victory over England in Perth that helped them win the Ashes and reclaim the Urn.

Mitchell Starc picked a total of five wickets in the game while Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins snared eight and four wickets respectively as England were bowled out for 403 and 218 in the two innings and were unable to match Australia's first innings total of 662.

In comparison, all four England pacers conceded over 100 runs in the only innings Australia batted and looked less threatening as Smith and Mitchell Marsh shared 301 run stand between them to set up Australia's massive 259 run first innings lead.

"I think here in Australia (the extra pace) certainly makes a difference on the flatter tracks where there isn’t much sideways movement," said Smith.

"That extra air speed can make a big difference and we’ve worked really hard to ensure that we had these three big quicks on the park and ready for this series.

"A couple of them skipped the one-day series in India (in October) and we knew what was coming up.

"We were preparing for this series and we wanted those big three on the park to do what they’ve done the last three test matches."

Smith also credited the Australian selectors, who were criticised heavily by the former players for their surprise picks before the series. Tim Paine was recalled after a gap of almost seven years while Cameron Bancroft was drafted in the place of a promising talent Matt Renshaw.

Also, Mitchell Marsh got a lifeline ahead of Peter Handscomb in the Perth Test and the moves paid huge dividends will all the players contributing to Australia's Ashes success.

"A lot of people came out and said that they were some very bold decisions at the start of the series and the selectors get criticised quite a lot,” said Smith.

"But I think they’ve done a terrific job with the squad that we’ve picked at the start and everyone that’s come in has done an exceptional job so a lot of credit has got to go to the selectors."

© Cricket World 2017