London: Australia batsman Steve Smith is confident of an Australian win despite conceding lead in the ongoing fifth and final Test of the ongoing Ashes.
His remarks came after close of play on day two of the fifth Test. England ended the day at 9/0 in the second innings with a lead of 78 over Australia.
“We are only 78 runs behind. Teams have come back and won from this margin before. This is Ashes cricket, you got to dig deep. We did not come here to retain the Ashes, we came here to win them. When you feel like ‘that’s enough’, you got to give a bit more and just keep coming,” International Cricket Council quoted Smith as saying.
England was bundled out for 294 runs in the first innings, but an inspired spell from their pacer Jofra Archer helped the Three Lions restrict Australia to 225 runs in the first innings.
Smith was once again the top-scorer for Aussies as he played a knock of 80 runs. With this score, he has taken his tally to 751 runs in the ongoing series.
The 30-year-old said that batting conditions have been tough in the series.
“It hasn’t been easy,” he said. “Players that have not done as well as they would like to on this tour will take a lot from the experience.
“You got to find ways to play away from home. Sometimes, you need to change certain little things and adapt accordingly. This will be a good learning curve for the batters,” Smith said.
Smith lauded England’s pacers for bowling with precise line and length to bundle Australia out in the first innings.
“England bowlers bowled pretty well. Curran generated some nice swing and bowled a pretty good spell there. Unfortunate that we were not able to put together at least one more good partnership,” Smith said.
“Jofra’s a quality performer. He’s got two fifers in four Test matches. You don’t get guys bowling 90 miles per hour growing on trees, and with the skill-set he has got… He’s a terrific bowler. He’s got a very bright future,” he added.
With the knock of 80, Smith broke the record of former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq of scoring most fifty-plus scores against a single team in Test cricket.
Inzamam had scored nine fifty-plus scores against England, whereas Smith now has 10.
Smith is currently the number one ranked batsman in the ICC Test batsmen rankings and he has a lead of 34 points over Indian skipper Virat Kohli.