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Steve Smith admits being nervous on final day following Australia’s Ashes win

Steve Smith admitted to being nervous on the final day but stated that he had the belief that the hosts would pull off a win against England in the Pink Ball Ashes Test in Adelaide.

cricket Updated: Dec 06, 2017 14:05 IST
Dejan Kalinic/Omnisport
Dejan Kalinic/Omnisport
Omnisport, Adelaide
Ashes 2017-18,The Ashes,Australia vs England
Steve Smith did not enforce the follow-on against England and Australia were bowled out for 138 in their second innings, giving Joe Root’ side a glimmer of hope. (AFP)

Australia captain Steve Smith admitted to feeling nerves heading into day five before his team wrapped up a second Test win over England.

In the end, it was relatively comfortable for Australia, who took six wickets inside two hours in Adelaide on Wednesday to claim a 120-run win and 2-0 Ashes series lead.

But it was more difficult than expected after Smith decided against enforcing the follow on with his team holding a 215-run first-innings lead, only to then get skittled for 138.

Smith said there was some nervousness heading into the final day, but he was pleased for his team.

“A little bit [of nervousness], but we always had the faith in the team and the belief,” he told Channel 9. “We thought if we could come out and bowl really well, hit our lengths and get one or two wickets then things can happen pretty quickly. We weren’t too far away from the new ball, which was exciting. It happened really quickly and I’m pleased for the boys, I thought they came out and showed some really good character.”

Smith admitted that the follow-on decision had given him an unsettling night ahead of day five, but felt vindicated in his decision by the result.

“Would I do the same again? I’m not sure,” he told BT Sport. “It’s played on my mind a little bit over the last couple of days and I thought: ‘Have I made a mistake here, have I not?’ On another day I might decide to go the other way but, in the end, we’ve won the Test match so it’s irrelevant.”

An unbeaten 126 from Shaun Marsh, who was named the player of the match, in the first innings helped set up Australia’s win.

Marsh was a surprise selection at number six for the hosts and Smith lauded the left-hander.

“I thought Shaun was phenomenal, the way he played in the first innings after getting sent in was extraordinary and it was an incredible hundred,” he said.

First Published: Dec 06, 2017 12:39 IST