Got no wor­ries mate

CROWDS: OZ PAIR EX­PECT TO COP A FAIR DEAL OF FLACK FROM THE SA FANS

The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Melbourne

Steve Smith and David Warner will be ready for what­ever South African crowds throw at them when the Aus­tralia bats­men re­turn to the na­tion two years af­ter the ball-tam­per­ing scan­dal, pace­man Josh Ha­zle­wood has said.

The pair will fly out with the Aus­tralia squad to­day for a limited-overs tour in the duo’s first visit to the coun­try since serv­ing 12-month bans for their parts in the tam­per­ing plot dur­ing the Cape Town Test.

The pair were jeered re­lent­lessly by English crowds dur­ing last year’s one-day World Cup and the fol­low­ing Ashes series, and Ha­zle­wood said they would be un­fazed by more hos­til­ity.

“Steve and Dave have ticked off pretty much ev­ery box since com­ing back,” Ha­zle­wood told re­porters in Syd­ney.

“It’s just an­other one of those and I don’t think it’ll faze them one bit.

“They prob­a­bly play bet­ter when it’s like this.

“It’s noth­ing we haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore... we’ll be fine.”

Both Smith and Warner have thrived since re­turn­ing to the na­tional fold af­ter their bans ex­pired last March.

Smith played a leading role in Aus­tralia’s re­ten­tion of the Ashes while Warner was awarded the Al­lan Bor­der Medal for the third time on Mon­day as the coun­try’s top crick­eter in 2019.

Lo­cal me­dia have re­ported that the head of the na­tional play­ers’ union will tour with the side in South Africa to offer ex­tra sup­port for the play­ers.

Ha­zle­wood said Smith and Warner would not need to be shielded.

“They’ll prob­a­bly try to take as much heat as they can ac­tu­ally, try to keep the young guys out of the spot­light,” added the pace­man.

Ha­zle­wood said en­gag­ing pos­i­tively with fans was the best way to defuse them.

“Join in and try to have a good time with them. Of­ten when you do that, they end up be­ing on your side af­ter a cou­ple of overs,” he said.

“It is when you fight them that it be­comes to and fro, and quite abu­sive. Ride the storm and go along with it.” –

Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

ABUSE. Aus­tralia’s David Warner (left) and Steve Smith are pre­pared for the worst ahead of their limited over tour of South Africa.

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