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AUSTRALIA V PAKISTAN TESTS

New-look side could be 'something special'

30 November 2016

Test captain Steve Smith walks onto the Adelaide Oval on day four of third Test against South Africa // Getty

Australia captain Steve Smith believes some of the side's new faces could be the backbone of a new era

Buoyant captain Steve Smith is hoping his triumphant new Gen-Y line-up can build "something really special" for Australian cricket over the next 10 years.

After Australia ended their five-Test losing streak in Adelaide, Smith would love to see the team which emphatically beat South Africa last week remain together for possibly the next decade.

The Test skipper hopes the introduction of Matt Renshaw, 20, Nic Maddinson, 24, Peter Handscomb, 25, and the recall of wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and paceman Jackson Bird to salvage something from the series wreckage can prove a turning point for Australia not dissimilar to the 1980s revival under Allan Border.

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"Last week was great. The guys responded beautifully, a new team together, to play the way we did against a quality opposition was incredibly pleasing," Smith told AAP on Wednesday.

"It's probably a little bit harder now than it was back in the '80s. The demands of international cricket are probably a little bit different with all three formats of crickets and lots of cricket going on.

"But you have to give guys opportunities and see how they go. I guess we'll be trying to stick together for a while.

"The great thing about this team that played last week is they're all so young.

"Obviously you've got to continue to perform.

"But if they can continue to do that, there's no reason why we can't play together for the next five to 10 years and create something really special together."

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Already though, Smith's great mate Maddinson is under pressure to retain his spot for the upcoming series against Pakistan, with Shaun Marsh expected to be available after finger surgery.

"Shaun was batting beautifully before he got injured so he'll definitely be talked about," Smith said.

Australia were top of the world this year before slipping to third after their series defeats to Sri Lanka and then South Africa.

But such are the vagaries of the Test rankings, Smith's men could be back in the mix to regain top spot with series victories over Pakistan and then top dogs India starting in February.

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"I'm not thinking too much about the rankings at the moment," said Smith, speaking from the CommBank Cricket Club, a grassroots program that provides funding to local clubs.

"For me, it's about ensuring we try and put some consistent performances together and back up what we did last week.

"What we did last week was outstanding so if we can do that consistently, continue to adapt to each conditions and be resilient and get through difficult periods, I'm sure we'll continue to have a lot of success."

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Meg Lanning Steve Smith

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