It's the best we have bowled this series - Steve Smith

It's the best we have bowled this series - Steve Smith
Steve Smith reckoned that Australia's performance with the ball on the second day of the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval on Friday was their best of the series so far.
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Australian batsman Steve Smith reckoned that his team's performance with the ball on the second day of the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval on Friday was their best of the series so far.

At stumps on day two, England were 102 for eight, still trailing Australia by another 374 runs as Mitchell Marsh and Peter Siddle led a spirited bowling performance from the visitors.

Reflecting on Australia’s bowling, Smith opined that his side had operated with a lot of discipline – something that wasn’t visible much in the series earlier barring at Lord’s Test.

"It was a very good day," said Smith to Sky Sports.

"It was nice to get 481 on the board.

"The bowlers today, it's the best we've bowled all series.

“They created lot of pressure, made them earn their runs and picked up wickets.

“It speaks for itself.”

Australia’s bowlers have been guilty of being too erratic with the ball during the ongoing Ashes series in their attempts to be aggressive.

Friday's performance saw the visiting bowlers being incredibly accurate in their spells as they choked England’s batsmen for runs and Smith expressed his happiness at the drastic improvement.

"We didn't over-attack too much and we put the ball in the right spot.

“There's enough in the wicket and we made the batters earn their runs.

"We haven't done it too much in this series, I thought we did that well today."

Having failed in the last two Tests, Smith seemed visibly happy at roaring back to form with his 11th Test century that was the backbone of Australia’s massive first-innings total of 481.

Even in this knock, it was a real toil for Smith in the initial part of his innings and the 25-year-old stressed on the importance of weathering the tough period on a surface that eased out gradually.

"You can leave balls on length here.

“I couldn't get in a real rhythm for my first 20 runs but the more time you spend out there, it gets easier.

“It was part of my game plan to wait for balls to hit.

“I was disappointed not to get more runs in the third and fourth Tests but pleased to get some today.”

With Australia firmly in control of the Test match, Smith hopes that the tourists can seal the game to give a fitting farewell to skipper Michael Clarke and opening batsmen Chris Rogers, both of whom are set to retire after this match.

Although the series has already been lost, Smith maintained that there was no dearth of motivation in the Australian camp to finish on a high.

"It just would have been nice to have a day like this at Edgbaston or Trent Bridge, but there's plenty of motivation every time you put on a Baggy Green cap.

"We're disappointed we can't win the series but Michael said before the Test he wanted a lot of fight and character from us.

"We all said we wanted to send him and Chris out on a good note, and we're well on the way to that at the moment.”

Smith’s century in the first innings saw him go past 500 runs in the series – the first Australian to achieve this feat since Matthew Elliott in 1997.

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