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No pressure on Aussies: Smith

Cricket

Few batsmen could stare down Curtly Ambrose without blinking. But it seems Australian captain Steve Smith has hardly batted an eyelid at the West Indian great’s threats, saying there is no pressure on his side to thrash the tourists in the first Test starting today in Hobart.

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Ambrose made a stirring call to arms for the hapless Windies ahead of the three-Test series opener, claiming all the pressure was on the world No.3 Australians to steamroll the visitors at Bellerive.

Now a bowling consultant, legendary ex-quick Ambrose’s inspirational press conference would have had even the biggest cynics walking out believing the lowly ranked Windies were at least half a chance against the highly fancied hosts.

Even if the Windies have not won an overseas Test series of note in 20 years.

Yet it seems the news had not yet reached world No.1-ranked Test batsman Smith.

“I wouldn’t say there’s an extra pressure,” he said.

“There’s always a pressure playing international cricket there’s no doubt about that.

“But our boys have played very well this summer (claiming a 2-0 Test series win over New Zealand to date).

“I don’t want us to worry about the West Indies too much.

“I want us to play our game of cricket and if we can do that hopefully we can have some success this summer.”

Indeed Smith all but vowed not to show any mercy against a Windies side that has not claimed an overseas Test series of note in 20 years.

“We want to win this series 3-0,” he said.

Smith would not concern himself with thoughts that an uncompetitive Windies would hurt Hobart crowds and therefore jeapordise its future as a Test venue.

Canberra is reportedly set to replace Hobart as a Test host if poor crowds again attend Bellerive Oval this week.

“We don’t have to worry about that,” he said.

“The West Indies are a very good side and they’ve got some very good players and we can’t take them lightly.

“Hopefully everyone comes out and watches this series.

“It’s going to be another hard-fought series like the one against New Zealand was and hopefully they can come out and watch us play our brand of cricket.”

Smith also wasn’t losing sleep over being targeted as the scalp to claim by Ambrose along with Australian deputy and opener David Warner.

“It’s just another Test match,” he said.

“The West Indies have some quality bowlers in their attack led by Jerome Taylor so we can’t take them lightly.

“We’ve got to play each ball on its merits as such and hopefully get a big first innings score and set the game up.”

– AAP

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