Skipper Steve Smith spoke about
a new era of Australian cricket before the first test against
New Zealand and his side launched it in some style with a
thumping 208-run victory to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match
series on Monday.
    Smith took charge permanently for the first time at the
Gabba after succeeding Michael Clarke and there were concerns
his side might be vulnerable after Chris Rogers, Brad Haddin and
Shane Watson joined his predecessor in retirement.
    The top order was a particular worry but new vice captain
David Warner was named Man of the Match on Monday after scoring
two centuries, while his new opening partner Joe Burns and
recalled number three Usman Khawaja both scored maiden hundreds.
    "I thought the first morning really set the tone for us with
Joe Burns and Davy Warner batting so well," Smith told a news
    "I thought the top order set the test match up for us. The
partnerships that we had in that top three were crucial to our
    With such strong starts to both innings -- Burns and Warner
shared opening partnerships of 161 and 237 -- the often
under-fire all-rounder Mitchell Marsh had little chance to
impress with the bat.
    He did, however, improve his chances of retaining his spot
for the second test in Perth when he took the wicket of New
Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum and flirted with a hat-trick
before finishing with figures of 2-25 on Monday.
    "He came on and bowled with decent pace at the end," Smith
    "He hadn't contributed much in the test match so it was nice
that he could come on and do really decent job for us."
    The part of the team most Australians were not concerned
about before the test was the pace attack, but Smith suggested
Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood needed to up
their game for the Perth test, which starts on Friday.
    "Our new ball bowling needs a little bit of improvement, I
think we bowled a bit too short," he said. 
    "We don't normally do that here, we usually get the ball up
and make the batters drive and I think that's going to be
important leading into Perth, which are probably going to be
pretty similar conditions."
    Both captains said the game was played in a good spirit but
Smith was disappointed that Starc had thrown the ball at New
Zealand tail ender Mark Craig towards the end of the match when
there was no run-out possible. 
    "It was just a bit of frustration and I think he just needs
to let it out in other ways," Smith added. 
    "He's done it a few times before and I'm going to have a
word to him when we get back to the sheds."   

 (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by John

Source: R-Csports