Road to atoning for duo
Warner and Smith aiming to win fans
STEVE Smith and David Warner are out to win over home crowds this summer when they make their first Test appearance in Australia since the ball-tampering scandal.
Smith made an emphatic return to the Test arena with a sensational Ashes series in England recently, despite being constantly booed by rabid English fans.
Warner had a polar opposite series, scoring only 95 runs in 10 innings as his Test future came under scrutiny.
But Australia’s star batsmen are back together at the Gabba in whites for the first time in two years and ready to kickstart the summer against Pakistan.
Smith, who averages 64.56, has been in remarkable form since his suspension but said he may still have to win over Aussie fans.
“We’ll wait and see,” Smith said when asked what reaction he expected. “I’m just excited to be back playing here in Australia. I can’t wait, I’m looking forward to it.
“We had a pretty successful campaign in England, but to come back and play in front of my friends and family is going to be a cool occasion.
“You’ve got to keep striving to be the best you can and enjoying what you do. Right now I’m loving what I’m doing.
“I can’t wait to get this Test series started.”
Smith and Warner were sorely missed during the last Australian summer.
They sat out Australia’s 2-1 Test series loss to India after receiving suspensions, along with Cameron Bancroft, for their role in the South African ball-tampering drama last year.
The scandal rocked Australian cricket like never before, resulting in a front-office clean-out and leaving the suspended trio shattered.
Smith and Warner made their Test returns in August for the Ashes and captain Tim Paine said their presence had lifted Australia.
“We certainly enjoyed having them back last winter (in England),” Paine said.
“Steve has added a hell of a lot of runs, know-how and experience and Dave’s the same.
“It’s really critical now that our young players spend a lot of time with those guys and learn from them as much as we can.
“They have to try and emulate the things they have been doing. We’d like to support Steve a lot more this summer.”