Smith starts Ashes war of words

The Australian batsman is confident the tourists will claim a first victory on English soil for 14 years, following defeats in 2005, 2009 and 2013.

He claims Australia are easily the better of the two sides and he told ESPN cricinfo: “I can’t wait to get over there and play in another Ashes series against England in their conditions after beating them so convincingly in Australia (16 months ago).

“It’s going to be nice to go in their backyard. If we continue to play the way we have been playing over the last 12 to 18 months, I don’t think that they’ll come close to us to be honest.

“There is a huge hunger within the group because we know that we haven’t won in England for the last three series (2005, 2009 and 2013).

“I’ve been involved in two of those. There’s a big burning desire to be involved in an Ashes winning campaign in England. I’m incredibly excited about what’s on the horizon with the Ashes and everyone else is as well.”