"It’s highly pressurised, Ashes cricket," he told reporters at the WACA. "Everyone is nervous every ball, every session – it’s been that way for 15 days so far. "So they can go and express themselves a little bit more now, so we’ll be playing the same brand of cricket but with less pressure on us." Since an acrimonious series defeat at home to South Africa a year ago, Australia have won nine of their past 13 Tests, with their captain leading the way with over 1,000 runs in the calendar year.
There may be a disappointment for @ECB_cricket fans who have a marked distaste for @CAComms's superiority, but Australia have better batsmen, better bowlers, and better fielders, Garfield Robinson opines.https://t.co/RmyOyzEOnv— FirstCricket (@FirstCric) December 20, 2017
Smith's 239 the WACA, following an unbeaten 141 in the series-opener at the Gabba, has given him an astonishing average of 142 for the Ashes series. Long saddled with the burden of scoring in a vulnerable batting lineup, Smith has enjoyed ample support in the series. Mitchell Marsh smashed 181 at the WACA and his older brother Shaun scored an unbeaten 126 in the second Test in Adelaide. Mitchell's maiden ton in his 22nd Test came after years of failing to deliver with the bat, so it was hugely encouraging for a team who have searched in vain for a decent all-rounder to help support their young pace attack. "The challenge for him is to back it up again, to be perfectly honest, and one innings doesn’t make a cricket career," said Lehmann. "So for him he’s got to back it up next game and do the right thing. He’s here to make runs."
From Cricket Australia. @mstarc56 has had a scan in Sydney which confirmed bruising on his heel.— Test Match Special (@bbctms) December 20, 2017
He will still travel to Melbourne with the squad as planned and will be reassessed ahead of the Test.#bbccricket #ashes pic.twitter.com/Hda5U5IRku