Magellan Ashes 2017-18

Aussie quicks to open old wounds: Smith

Captain Steve Smith looks ahead to looming Ashes battle, confident Australia can reprise the destructive pace of the 2013-14 summer

Cricket Network

2 August 2017, 07:13 AM AEST

Steve Smith believes Australia's fast bowlers could open a few old wounds from England's disastrous 2013-14 Ashes defeat when the two sides again meet Down Under this summer.

Mitchell Johnson spearheaded a pace assault of the English on their last Ashes tour, a strategy that proved ruthlessly effective as the left-arm tearaway garnered 37 wickets and led the Aussies to a 5-0 series whitewash.

Four of England's top six – Alastair Cook, captain Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow – were part of that series.

Cook had a lean run (246 runs), particularly in comparison to his record-breaking 2010-11 tour when he piled on 766 runs, Root found himself dropped for the final Test, Bairstow played just two Tests for a top score of 21, while Stokes, who debuted in Adelaide, posted a maiden hundred in Perth before taking a six-wicket haul in Sydney.

"Playing at home is always nice," Smith told Fox Sports' Back Page Live.

"I think a couple of them have got a few scars from what happened last time out here, and hopefully we'll be able to exploit some of those."

England are currently leading South Africa 2-1 in a four-match series, with the final Test beginning at Old Trafford on Friday.

"They're a good side," he said. "They're playing some good cricket at the moment, and they've got dangerous players."

Stokes flays South Africa for brilliant century

Stokes is emerging as the key man for England, and will doubtless benefit from his experiences in Australia four summers ago.

Speaking after England's win at The Oval, Root lauded the way his deputy has advanced his game.

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"He's always been a great player but over the last year he's really matured," he said. "He's found ways to be more consistent, affect the game.

"He thinks really well and he's got a great cricket brain, which he doesn't always get a lot of credit for.

Stokes' catalogue of confrontations

"He's a person you know you can turn under pressure to wrest a game back in your favour – this week is a fine example of what he's capable of.

"He works extremely hard and you can see that now, so hopefully he's still on upward curve and has further to go and more to achieve in the game."

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2017-18 International Fixtures:

Men's Ashes Series

First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets

Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Join the ACF

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets

ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets

Fifth ODI WACA Ground, January 28. Join the ACF

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets

T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21