Pakistan have taken on all comers in the T20 World Cup and will look to end Australia's hopes of winning a maiden title at the semi-final stage on Thursday.

Babar Azam's side made a statement when they hammered fierce rivals India by 10 wickets in their opening match of the tournament and they have never looked back, winning all five Super 12 games.

Australia qualified as runners-up to England in Group 1 as they strive to win the T20 World Cup for the first time and have come out on top in their previous two T20Is against Pakistan.

Pakistan had won five in a row versus Australia in the shortest format prior to those two losses.

Matthew Hayden stated that he believes being a "warrior of Australian cricket over two decades" can give Pakistan an edge in his role as batting consultant for this tournament.

Pakistan's only T20 World Cup title was won back in 2009 and they were beaten by Australia in a semi-final the following year.

Stats Perform usese Opta data to preview the second semi-final at Dubai International Stadium on Thursday, with the winner facing England or New Zealand at the same venue three days later.

Brilliant Babar leading by example

Pakistan's classy run machine Babar has been outstanding with the bat and his captaincy in this tournament.

The prolific skipper has made four scores of least 50 in this tournament, only the third player to do so in a T20 World Cup. Australia great Hayden (four in 2007) and India captain Virat Kohli (four in 2014) are the other two.

Babar is the leading run-scorer in the competition with 264 from five innings at an average of 66 and a strike rate of 128.15.

Paceman Shaheen Afridi has been magnificent with the ball, forcing a false shot from a batter with 44 per cent of his 120 deliveries – the highest rate of any player at the Super 12 stage to bowl more than a single innings.

Haris Rauf has also made a big impact and is Pakistan's leading wicket-taker with eight to Afridi's six for the only team with a 100 per cent record in the Super 12s.

 

Zampa providing Australia x-factor

Spinner Adam Zampa has been one of Australia's leading lights on their run to the last four.

The tweaker has claimed 11 wickets at an average of just 9.90, with only Sri Lanka's Wanindu Hasaranga (16) having taken more scalps. His figures of 5-19 against Bangladesh are the best in the tournament.

Zampa has finished four of his five innings in the tournament with a bowling economy below six runs per over after having done so only once in his 17 innings prior. 

Paceman Josh Hazlewood has also maintained his outstanding form on the back of an Indian Premier League triumph with Chennai Super Kings.

Hazlewood has taken eight wickets with a strike rate of 11.87, delivering with the new ball time and again, and Australia will be looking for him to make early inroads along with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.

 

Aaron Finch believes his Australia team are proving their critics wrong as they prepare to do battle for a place in the T20 World Cup final.

Australia headed into the World Cup in poor form in the shortest format, having recorded five successive series defeats, leaving captain Finch and head coach Justin Langer under pressure.

An eight-wicket thrashing at the hands of England in their third game of the Super 12 stage left them on the brink of an exit, but wins over Bangladesh and West Indies proved enough to seal their place in the last four.

Pakistan, the only unbeaten team remaining at the World Cup, stand between Australia and a showdown against either England or New Zealand in Sunday's final.

Finch accepts many commentators may have written Australia off before the tournament started, but he insists the team only had one goal in mind when they arrived in the United Arab Emirates.

"It's just one of those things that in the lead-up to the tournament you tend to hear things or see the odd quote or comment that people have written you off," Finch told reporters.

"It's interesting how the narrative can change really quick. About 10 days ago, our team was too old, and now, we're an experienced team.

"That's just how it all gets portrayed. From day one, I've had a lot of confidence in the way that we've gone about this with the squad that we've got. I don't think that we've exceeded our expectations whatsoever. We came here with a really clear plan to win this tournament, and we're still alive to do that."

 

With Australia hosting the 2022 T20 World Cup, Finch is hopeful their efforts in recent weeks have set them in good stead for the future, even if their attempts to clinch silverware this time around fall short.

"One thing I'm really proud of is how we've started to uncover a little bit more depth in T20 cricket in Australia," he said.

"Some guys who mightn't have got an opportunity in the past if everyone was available, they got a good opportunity to test themselves in international cricket.I think in the long run, over the next two or three years, this period of Australian cricket will help us uncover more talent and more depth, especially in the white-ball format.

"That's something I'm really proud of. Although the results previous to this World Cup hadn't gone our way a huge amount, there was so much learning that we got out of that."

Australia have won their past two T20Is against Pakistan, having lost their prior five encounters in the format, and have won three of their past five meetings at the T20 World Cup.

However, Pakistan have won their past six T20Is – the last time they won more in succession in the format was a nine-game streak from July 2018 to November 2018, which included five straight wins against Australia.

Matthew Hayden says the fact he was a "warrior for Australian cricket over two decades" can help Pakistan reach the T20 World Cup final.

Legendary former Australia opening batsman Hayden was appointed as Pakistan's batting consultant for the tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

The 50-year-old has been trying to plot Australia's downfall ahead of a semi-final showdown at Dubai International Stadium on Thursday and thinks his insights can be key for Pakistan.

He said: "It is a very unusual feeling. I was a warrior for Australian cricket over two decades, so that does give me the benefit of having wonderful insights, not only into these players but also into the culture of cricket in Australia.

"From my point of view there is the challenge of the heart, the challenge of the mind in terms of what's going to happen over the next 24 hours, but I'll also say very proudly that it’s been wonderful to be a part of Pakistan cricket."

Hayden says it will not be a case of him pitting his wits against Australia head coach Langer - who he had such a successful opening partnership with.

"Justin Langer and myself are in similar positions, insofar as a national coach or a batting coach never wins a game of cricket," said Hayden.

"The 11 that take part in the game win the game, and we are back-up only."

Pakistan have won six consecutive T20Is, their longest winning run in the shortest format since a nine-game streak in 2018, which included five straight wins against Australia

However, Australia have come out on top in the previous two T20Is between the nations.

England will be without Joe Marler when they face Australia at Twickenham on Saturday after the prop tested positive for coronavirus.

Marler returned a positive lateral flow test on Monday and immediately went into isolation.

The 31-year-old will isolate for 10 days after a PCR test confirmed he has contracted COVID-19.

All of the other England players and staff returned negative lateral flow tests, with additional PCR test results not yet received.

Owen Farrell rejoined the squad on Monday after he missed the 69-3 hammering of Tonga on Saturday, having tested positive for coronavirus last week.

Marler came off the bench in that thrashing at Twickenham, but will play no part against the Wallabies.

He will hope to be available to return when Eddie Jones' side take on world champions South Africa on November 20.

Australia will tour Pakistan for the first time in 24 years, it was announced on Monday.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed details of a month-long tour in March and April 2022 comprising three Test matches, three ODIs and one T20I.

The Tests will be held in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore in March, with the latter also hosting the white-ball matches.

While the Tests will form part of the ICC World Test Championship, the one-day matches will be linked to the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, a 13-team event from which seven qualifiers and host nation India will progress to the final tournament in 2023.

Speaking of Australia's first visit since 1998, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja said: "I am delighted to welcome Australia to Pakistan. From a personal point of view, it pleases me no end that we'll be engaged in a three-Test match series, connoisseurs delight.

"Australia are one of the high-performing sides and them playing in our backyard for the first time after a gap of 24 years will be a special treat for the fans.

"Likewise, it will be a great opportunity for the Australia cricketers to not only play at our iconic venues but also feel and enjoy the respect, love and hospitality that this great country offers, something which most of their previous generation of cricketers missed out by playing offshore."

Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley: "Cricket Australia is excited about the prospect of touring Pakistan next year for what will be a highly anticipated series in a country so incredibly passionate about the game and their national team.

"Pakistan is a formidable opposition with an exceptionally talented team, as evidenced by their dynamic performances in the current ICC Men's T20 World Cup in the UAE.

"We thank the PCB for their considerable efforts in planning for the tour and look forward to continuing to work closely over the coming months to finalise the necessary operations, logistics, security and Covid-19 protocols.

"The safety and welfare of our players and staff remains our number one priority, and we will continue to work with the PCB and relevant agencies to ensure that appropriate and sufficient arrangements are put in place for the tour."

Australia won the series 1-0 in their previous tour of Pakistan, which was their first since Richie Benaud's side won 2-0 in 1959-60.

The previous four series between the countries have been held offshore, most recently in 2018-19, when Pakistan won 1-0 in the United Arab Emirates.

Rory Burns says Ben Stokes' return to the England Test squad in time for the Ashes tour of Australia has provided "a massive boost".

Stokes was initially omitted from the squad for the away series as he recovered from a second operation on a broken finger and took a break from cricket to protect his mental wellbeing.

But the all-rounder gave Joe Root's side a huge lift last week by declaring he was ready to make his comeback, and he flew out to Australia on Thursday.

He will be available, barring any fitness issues, for the first Test at The Gabba on December 8.

 

Stokes was a star of the previous Ashes series in 2019, albeit his heroics in a famous Headingley Test did not prove enough for England to reclaim the urn.

And Burns explained the confidence boost Stokes' timely return has provided.

"It's obviously a massive boost, you know. To get Stokesy back in the side and back in the squad and back around things is obviously a massive boost for us," the opener told reporters.

"We all know what a good player he is. I don't really have to tell you about that. To get a bloke of his calibre and background back in our group is obviously a massive lift for us."

Stokes' return may have come as a surprise to some, but not Burns, who said: "I wasn't actually that surprised. I kind of felt like something was bubbling away.

"So, it was nice when I saw it announced. Because it is exciting and we want to get out there and have the best side possible, and obviously Ben adds to that in a massive way."

Burns impressed in the 2019 series, scoring 133 in the first innings of his Ashes debut before going on to record two more half-centuries (53 and 81).

"I think, from a personal standpoint, I played quite nicely in my only Ashes series to date," Burns continued.

"That was in my home conditions and those sort of things; we are probably going to get some different conditions out here in Australia. There is confidence there but also, at the same time, it's just taking what's in front of you every step of the way."

Scotland held off Australia to claim a narrow 15-13 win in their first November Test at Murrayfield, ending the Wallabies' five-match winning run.

Sunday's hosts had beaten Australia in the sides' previous two meetings, but Dave Rennie's men came into the clash in their best spell of form since a sequence of seven straight victories across September and October 2015.

Finn Russell's penalty 12 minutes from time ultimately proved the difference, prompting Hamish Watson to tell Amazon Prime: "Something special is building here."

Watson had opened the scoring in a tense back-and-forth encounter, powering over in the 22nd minute following a lineout.

Michael Hooper thought he had replied before the break, but the TMO intervened to rule out his try – Allan Alaalatoa sent to the sin bin for catching Matt Fagerson in the face – and James O'Connor's penalty instead provided Australia's only first-half points.

The Wallabies' 14 men had their first lead early in the second half through Rob Leota's score, only for debutant Ewan Ashman to squeeze the ball down in the corner for Scotland.

Another O'Connor penalty put Australia back in front heading into the closing stages, but the game was decided from Scotland's tee and the boot of Russell.

England captain Owen Farrell has been cleared to return to the squad after his coronavirus test was revealed to be a false positive.

The 30-year-old went into isolation and missed England's 69-3 over Tonga on Saturday after a PCR test taken on Thursday came back positive.

However, England revealed on Sunday that the result has been reviewed and determined as a false positive test.

He tested negative in subsequent PCR tests and has therefore been given the green light to link up with his team-mates at Pennyhill Park.

Farrell will be in contention to return to action for Eddie Jones' side when they take on Australia at Twickenham next Saturday.

Australia took a huge step towards the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup as they thrashed the West Indies by eight wickets to deny Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo victorious farewells.

Seeking to win the tournament for the first time, Australia made sure South Africa will need a truly remarkable victory over England later on Saturday to deny them a place in the last four.

Josh Hazlewood produced a stunning performance with the ball for Australia, taking 4-39, including the wicket of Bravo on his final appearance for the Windies, who only managed to get to 157-7 because of a late salvo from Andre Russell.

Hazlewood's efforts with the ball were backed up brilliantly by a superb batting display from David Warner, whose unbeaten 89 off 56 ensured victory was rarely in doubt, Australia getting home with 22 balls to spare.

Already eliminated from contention with only one win to their name, the Windies saw a strong start dissipate as Gayle (15) departed the crease in what is expected to be his final game for the Windies.

Gayle chopped onto his stumps the next delivery after smashing Pat Cummins for six and saluted the crowd as he strode off. Nicholas Pooran followed in short order at the hands of Hazelwood, who then castled Roston Chase for a duck and the Windies failed to wrestle back the initiative after falling to 35-3.

Australia skipper Aaron Finch did fall cheaply for nine in reply, though that was as good as it got for the Windies as they were bludgeoned by Warner and Mitchell Marsh.

They put together a seemingly effortless partnership of 124, combining for 13 fours and six maximums before it was finally ended by Gayle, much to the delight of the Windies, as he removed Marsh with the scores level, before Warner clinched victory with a boundary to finish things off with a flourish.

Australia all but through

Australia sit second in Group 1 with eight points and a clear net run-rate advantage over third-placed South Africa, who will need to thump unbeaten England in Sharjah to progress to the semis ahead of Australia.

Gayle & Bravo all smiles

Though the result was not they wanted, Gayle and Bravo made sure to soak up the experience of their final match. They were all smiles throughout and received a guard of honour from the Australia players after the game.

Gayle is the Windies' top run-scorer in T20I cricket with 1,899. Known for his devastating batting in the shortest format, his dismissal of Marsh as he and Bravo bowled two of the final three overs marked an unconventional farewell.

Australia's Adam Zampa let team-mate Matthew Wade off the hook after the wicketkeeper failed to take a catch that would have brought up a hat-trick against Bangladesh.

Zampa starred with the ball on Thursday, taking 5-19 as Australia skittled Bangladesh out for just 73.

It was the fourth-lowest total of the T20 World Cup so far, with Zampa taking five wickets in the format for the first time.

Indeed, it is only the second time an Australia player has taken a five-for in a T20 World Cup match, after James Faulkner (5-27 v Pakistan, 2016).

However, Zampa's day could have been even better had Wade held on to an edge by Taskin Ahmed, but the wicketkeeper could only get his fingertips on the ball.

Three overs had passed since Zampa dismissed Shamim Hossain and Mahedi Hasan, however, and the spinner joked that perhaps only he knew that a hat-trick was on the cards.

"It's a pretty nice feeling, I've been playing five or six years now and that one had eluded me," Zampa said at the post-match presentation.

"I think I had like three overs between my [second] wicket and the next ball, so I don't know if anyone knew, I thought I was the only one that knew!

"If it wasn't for Wadey's hands at the moment then I wouldn't have as many wickets as I do. It was a tough catch but just happy to have taken five to be honest."

Australia surpassed the target with ease, Mitchell Marsh hitting a huge six to settle the contest after only 6.2 overs of the chase.

Captain Aaron Finch top-scored with 40 from 20 balls, a total that included four sixes and two boundaries at a strike rate of 200.

Finch, whose side moved above South Africa into second place in Group 1, as the qualification battle goes down to the wire, spoke of "a really clinical performance".

He added: "We thought we would take the opportunity to win big if we got the chance, but you can't plan for that. At the halfway mark, we knew we could get past South Africa.

"When you have that opportunity, you have to take it. Zampa's five for 19 was outstanding."

Adam Zampa claimed the best bowling figures of this T20 World Cup as Australia took a step towards the semi-finals with an eight-wicket thrashing of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh had won four of their last five T20Is against Australia, including a 60-win when they last met in August, but they were hammered at Dubai International Stadium on Thursday.

Zampa took a maiden five-wicket T20I haul of 5-19, and could have had a hat-trick if not for a dropped catch from Matthew Wade, in a brilliant bowling display from Australia, who skittled out the Tigers for a measly 73.

The spinner dismissed Afif Hossain (0), Shamim Hossain (19), Mahedi Hasan (0), Mustafizur Rahman (4) and Shoriful Islam (0) as sorry Bangladesh could only muster the fourth-lowest batting total of the tournament,

Aaron Finch (40) and David Warner (18) then set about making light work of the chase, with Australia reaching 67 inside the powerplay, bettering the previous tournament high, set by England in their demolition of the men in green and gold on the same ground on Saturday.

With Finch and Warner falling in quick succession to Taskin Ahmed (1-36) and Shoriful (1-9), Mitchell Marsh smashed 16 off five deliveries, including a huge six to get Australia home off just 6.2 overs.

The victory lifts Australia into second place with a better run-rate than South Africa in the tussle for the top two places in Group 1, with England top.

Finch's side face West Indies in their final Super 12 match on Saturday, with the Proteas up against England.

Zampa leads brilliant bowling attack

Zampa had to remind Wade he had dropped a catch on a hat-trick ball, but it was still a wonderful day for the spinner. He took his best figures in a T20I, tops the bowling charts in the Super 12 stage and became just the second Australia player to take a five-for in a T20 World Cup, after James Faulkner did so against Pakistan in 2016.

New-ball Mitchell Starc (2-21) and Josh Hazlewood (2-8) also capitalised on the Tigers' frailties with the bat, with Glenn Maxwell collecting the other wicket.

Bangladesh heading home winless

Bangladesh head home after failing to claim a win in the Super 12 stage and will finish rooted to the bottom of Group 1.

Mahmudullah went into the game needing an innings of 76 runs to become the 14th player in T20I history to log 2,000 runs in the format. However, the captain had been dismissed for ducks in two of his previous four T20I innings against Australia, and managed just 16 this time around.

Liam Livingstone hailed Jos Buttler as "the best hitter of a white ball in the world" after he blasted England to an eight-wicket T20 World Cup thrashing of Australia.

England moved to the brink of the semi-finals with a third crushing victory in three games, demolishing their great rivals at Dubai International Stadium on Saturday.

The bowlers once again set up a statement win, Chris Woakes (2-23) outstanding with the new ball as Australia could only post 125 all out.

It might have been much worse for Australia, as they slumped to 21-4 in the seventh over, but captain Aaron Finch hung in there with 44 before Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc provided the sort of lusty blows the top order failed to come up with.

Chris Jordan (3-17), Adil Rashid (1-19) and Livingstone (1-15) were also outstanding in another near flawless performance from Eoin Morgan's side in the field, with the in-form Moeen Ali not called upon to bowl.

Buttler then took centre stage with an explosive 71 not out from 32 deliveries as England reached their target with 50 balls to spare, going two points clear at the top of Group 1 with a far superior net run-rate to their rivals.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler struck five huge sixes as he took the Australia attack apart and Livingstone lapped up a masterclass from his team-mate.

He told Sky Sports: "It was a pleasure watching that Jos innings, the bowlers have been phenomenal, and Mo's been our best bowler and hasn't even bowled today.

"We have great depth in our line-up, then a pleasure to watch genius at work [Buttler]. He's the best hitter of a white ball in the world. A clinic of white-ball hitting."

Finch also doffed his cap to Buttler and vowed that wounded Australia will regroup after dropping below South Africa into third place.

"When we lost a few wickets in the powerplay, we had to hang in there, get to a total we thought would be defendable if we got it right with the ball," Finch said.

"Woakes is a brilliant exponent when there's seam early. We had to bowl them out, no issues there, but Buttler played a hell of an innings.

"We got off to a poor start, but a couple of days off to recharge, we'll dust ourselves off and come back for Bangladesh."

Jos Buttler blasted a brutal unbeaten half-century as England thrashed fierce rivals Australia by eight wickets to stand on the brink of the T20 World Cup semi-finals.

Both sides came into the showdown at Dubai International Stadium on Saturday with two wins from two, but it was England who made a huge statement to go two points clear at the top of Group 1.

Australia were all out for 125 off their 20 overs after being reduced to 21-4 in the seventh over, Chris Woakes (2-23) setting the tone for another brilliant performance in the field from Eoin Morgan's side.

Chris Jordan (3-17), Adil Rashid (1-19) and Liam Livingstone (1-15) also bowled superbly as only Aaron Finch (44 from 49 balls) made a notable contribution after Morgan put Australia in.

Tymal Mills was expensive with 2-45 from his four overs as only a late flurry of runs got Australia from deep in the mire to three figures, with the in-form Moeen Ali not called upon to bowl by Morgan.

England made light work of chasing down their target as Buttler produced a masterclass, smashing 71 not out off only 32 deliveries.

Buttler and Jason Roy (22) put on 66 for the first wicket from 6.2 overs as the Australia bowlers came in for some painful treatment, with England's wicketkeeper-batsman and Jonny Bairstow finishing off the job with 50 balls to spare.

A third resounding win leaves England in command of Group 1 with a huge net run-rate, while Australia drop below South Africa into third place.

 

Australia rocked by Woakes wizardry

Woakes got England off to a dream start, getting David Warner caught behind with his second delivery and trapping Glenn Maxwell in front after leaping to take a fine one-handed catch to send Steve Smith on his way.

Australia were in deep trouble at 21-4 in the seventh over when Rashid snared Marcus Stoinis lbw without scoring and Livingstone was also outstanding, sending Matthew Wade on his way.

Ashton Agar chipped in with 20 off as many balls and Pat Cummins struck his first two balls from Mills for six, but he was bowled by Jordan, who had Finch well caught in the deep by Bairstow off the previous delivery in the penultimate over.

 

Brilliant Buttler makes Australia suffer 

Buttler and Roy got England's run chase off to a flyer, racking up the most runs in the powerplay in the tournament with 66.

Adam Zampa came on to get Roy lbw before Buttler raised his bat after scoring the joint-fastest half-century in the tournament from 25 balls with a six off Australia's premier spinner.

The Australia bowlers had no answer to the class of Buttler, who produced an exhibition of clean striking, hitting five sixes and as many fours.

David Warner returned to form with a blistering half-century after Adam Zampa put Sri Lanka in a spin as Australia cruised to a seven-wicket T20 World Cup win.

Warner's place in the side had been called into question due to a lack of runs, but the opener silenced his critics a day after his 35th birthday as Australia made it two wins out two in the Super 12 stage.

Sri Lanka posted 154-6 after Aaron Finch won the toss and opted to field at Dubai International Stadium on Thursday, Kusal Perera and Charith Asalanka making 35 apiece before Bhanuka Rajapaksa added an unbeaten 33.

Spinner Zampa flummoxed the Sri Lanka batters, taking 2-12 from his four overs, while Mitchell Starc (2-27) and Pat Cummins (2-34) also did damage.

Josh Hazlewood played a big part with the ball once again without reward and Australia made light work of chasing down their target.

Warner was dropped on 18 but made 65 from 42 balls, and he and captain Finch (37 from 23) laid the platform with an explosive opening stand of 70 from only 6.5 overs.

Wanindu Hasaranga took 2-22, but Australia eased to their target with three overs to spare to join leaders England on four points in Group 1, Steve Smith making 28 not out and Marcus Stoinis unbeaten on 16.

 Zampa bamboozles Sri Lanka after promising start

Sri Lanka were going along nicely at 53-1 at the end of the powerplay, but they lost their way after the excellent Zampa had Asalanka caught on the sweep by Smith.

The guile of Zampa also saw the back of Avishka Fernando after Starc cleaned up Kusal with a searing yorker, as Sri Lanka lost four wickets for 16 runs.

Rajapaksa added some much-needed late runs, with Stoinis expensive, but Australia were left with a smaller chase than they might have been expecting.

 

Warner grateful for late Kusal gift

Warner had been dropped by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League and came into this game having scored only 17 runs in his previous five innings.

His frustrating spell would have continued if Kusal had not put down a simple catch behind the stumps and the powerful left-hander made him pay, hitting 10 fours to set his side well on their way to victory.

Finch was also due some runs and looked in ominous touch – bad news for Australia's rivals – as he cleared the rope twice before playing on to Hasaranga.

Steve Smith believes the return of "dangerous" England all-rounder Ben Stokes makes for a mouthwatering Ashes series.

Stokes has not played since July, having taken a break to protect his mental wellbeing while he also recovered from a broken finger.

The England vice-captain underwent a second operation on his finger but recently posted footage of himself batting and bowling in the nets.

Stokes was initially omitted from the squad for the tour of Australia, but the England and Wales Cricket Board on Monday announced that he has been added to the squad.

Australia batsman Smith has welcomed the news that Stokes will be involved, with the Ashes getting under way at The Gabba on December 8.

"I think any team's more dangerous when you've got someone like Ben Stokes playing," Smith said.

"It certainly adds a lot to their depth, but like I said we're excited and I'm glad personally that he's able to be back playing some cricket. It makes for a really good series."

 

Smith has been troubled by an elbow injury, but the former Australia captain does not expect it to be an issue when Tim Paine's side attempt to retain the urn.

Quoted in the Australian press on Tuesday, Smith said: "I've tried to bat every second day, or not bat three days in a row, just to take a bit of load off. On the days I'm batting, I'm batting for as long as I want to, which is nice.

"I'm still taking it easy at the moment. I'll build up again as we get closer to playing some longer format stuff. It is in a good place, it feels really good. I'm continuing with my strength work and my rehab stuff – I feel like I'm going well and progressing along nicely, so I've got no real concerns [for the Ashes]."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.