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'Incredibly rewarding', Smith lauds teammates after Australia qualify for WTC final

Indore, March 4 (IANS) Australias stand-in skipper Steve Smith was all praise for his players and support staff after the side qualified for the ICC World Test Championship 2023 final.

Australia’s convincing nine-wicket triumph over India in the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Indore on Friday helped them book a place at this year’s ICC World Test Championship Final.

They have been a dominant side in the ongoing World Test Championship cycle, having won 11 out of 18 contests. Presently placed at top of the standings with 68.52 percent of their possible WTC points, Australia will remain at the first position regardless of the remaining results in the event.

The seasoned batter, who stood in for Australia’s regular captain Pat Cummins in the third Test, applauded the side for booking a berth in the WTC final.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to qualify for our first ICC World Test Championship Final. It has been a goal of ours for quite a while now. The players and staff deserve a lot of credit for the standard of cricket we have played over the past two years. It would be a great reward for everyone to finish as World Test Champions,” Smith told ICC.

“To also be able to play the WTC final ahead of the Ashes means it will be a great opportunity for our fans to lengthen their stays to come and watch us at The Oval. We still have one Test to play here in India where we hope to maintain this momentum,” he added.

In the post-match press conference, Smith praised his team’s comeback in the third Test after being 0-2 down in the series.

“We were disappointed with the way things ended particularly in the last game and failing to take our opportunities, and knowing after that second test we can’t actually win the series.That’s always been on the bucket list for a few of us,” he said.

“For the guys to be able to regroup, trust themselves with what they’re trying to do and just try to do it for longer. It’s something we’ve spoken about and the way we did it this week was really pleasing.

It’s about taking the result out of play, having faith in our methods for long enough, we’re good enough players to get the results we’re after more often than not,” he added.

India lead the four-game series 2-1 and have a chance to book a berth in the final alongside Australia with a win in the final Test in Ahmedabad. If they fail to do so, they will have to depend on New Zealand to do them a favour against Sri Lanka.



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