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Smith wants to put distractions behind as CT approaches

Source: PTI
May 25, 2017 11:35 IST
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 Australia's Steve Smith listens to a teamm address during an Australia nets session

IMAGE: Australia's Steve Smith listens to a teamm address during an Australia nets session. Photograph: Daniel Carson/Getty Images

Australia skipper Steve Smith on Wednesday admitted that the players have been distracted regarding the ongoing pay dispute with Cricket Australia but are now determined to put that behind with an aim to regain the Champions Trophy.

"I will be getting on the job at hand, wherever I am that is my job and I have to be up with  every challenge -- that’s part and parcel of being a sportsperson," Smith told reporters in London when asked about how much the dispute has affected the team.

On a personal note, Smith had a good time in the IPL with some good knocks which were instrumental in team reaching the final.

"I had a good two months in India with the Indian Premier League and we are really excited about this tournament," he said.

"England is a great place to play and all the boys are pumped up for this one. We have had a busy schedule but I am feeling really good physically and mentally and things are in a good place. This tournament is a really important one for us. We have a bit of a break after this and have to go as hard as we can to do well," said the Aussie captain.

Smith wants to emulate the Australian teams of the past which have had stupendous record in ICC events.

"Trophies like this only come along every two years so it is a really important series. Australia has a very good record in competitions so hopefully we can keep that up."

"We want to win it, everybody does, and that is what we are focused on."

With the IPL and a preceding Test series in India, the Australia ODI side has only recently regrouped, with its last 50-over series having been against New Zealand in February.

It was not to be victorious on that occasion, losing 2-0, but Smith feels there is plenty of scope for people to throw their hats into the ring for a first-choice spot.

The first time to test that out will come in Friday’s warm-up game at The Oval against Sri Lanka, while Australia will also face Pakistan at Edgbaston prior to facing New Zealand in its first match.

And with Bangladesh and host England also in its group, the 27-year-old is aware there is plenty of opportunity for players to step up and make their mark.

"We have got a little bit of time, a couple of matches and a chance for a few guys to bat in the conditions," Smith added.

"We have a few options to go with, we have got a lot of strong batters in the line-up, and we could go with how they go in the practice matches."

Smith feels that England will prove to be handful at home.

"England is very good at home, it has a lot of match-winners in the side but a lot of other teams are also very good. South Africa and India are world-class, and a lot of the other teams can play very, very good cricket on their day."

"We'll play the warm-up games with match intensity. We have not been together for a while so it's a good opportunity to get into the rhythm of one-day cricket." 

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