Qantas Tour of South Africa
Skipper Smith's message to Test squad
Australia captain arrives in South Africa hungry for more success after Ashes triumph
Sam Ferris in Johannesburg
18 February 2018, 06:39 PM AEST
Having arrived in South Africa ahead of the blockbuster four-Test series against the Proteas, Australia captain Steve Smith has told his squad he will not accept complacency after thrashing England in the Magellan Ashes.
Smith and the Australians convincingly regained the Ashes urn 4-0 this summer but the No.3-ranked Test team has a long way to go if they are to be considered the world's best.
The next opponent on the path to the Test-team summit is South Africa, the second-placed side behind India, and Smith wants his charges to build on the success they achieved at home against England.
"For us as a whole, we've come off the back of a pretty good Ashes campaign at home," Smith said in Johannesburg on Saturday.
"We've played some really good cricket and hopefully we can keep that up here in South Africa.
"The message to the boys is one good series doesn't make a great team.
"You need to keep backing it up, day in, day out in different conditions.
"For us as a team, winning away is a big goal for us.
"Every team around the world hasn't played well away from home for a while so that's one thing we want to improve on and it's a good opportunity for us here."
While Australia hammered England in all facets during the Ashes, Smith said it was winning the decisive moments in the five-Test series that proved the difference.
In the first Test at the Gabba, Nathan Lyon's pivotal run out of first-drop James Vince to curtail England's positive start was not only the turning point in the match but of the entire series, Smith said after securing the urn in Sydney.
Shaun Marsh's maiden Ashes century in concert with pivotal contributions from Tim Paine and Pat Cummins delivered Australia a match-winning total in the day-night fixture at Adelaide Oval, before hundreds to Smith and Mitchell Marsh denied England a sniff of victory in Perth as the hosts went on to seal the series at the WACA Ground.
Smith wants his men to be more consistent with bat and ball but, more importantly, to continue to come out on top in the moments that matter.
"During the Ashes we won key moments," Smith said.
"We were probably behind the game in a lot of the matches and we were able to get ourselves in front of the game and not let the opposition back in.
"That was by winning key moments and against a quality side like South Africa those key moments are going to be crucial again."
Qantas tour of South Africa
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
Warm-up match v SA Invitational XI, Sahara Park, Benoni, Feb 22-24
First Test Kingsmead, Durban, March 1-5
Second Test St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, March 9-13
Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3