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Smith admits he'll miss jeering English fans

The master Australian batsman bore the brunt of the hostile English fans on their trip there last year after returning from a ban for ball-tampering.

Australia's batsman Steve Smith avoids a bouncer from New Zealand bowler Neil Wagner on the first day of the second cricket Test match at the MCG in Melbourne on 26 December 2019. Picture: AFP

SYDNEY - Steve Smith Sunday said he'll miss being jeered and heckled by English crowds during their upcoming limited-overs tour, admitting the booing motivates him to do better.

The master Australian batsman bore the brunt of the hostile English fans on their trip there last year after returning from a ban for ball-tampering.

But he thrived on the taunts and potshots, scoring an incredible 774 runs in four Tests, at an average 110.57, including twin centuries on his Test return at Edgbaston.

"I do like batting there, unfortunately there's going to be no crowd there to egg me on and give me a bit more motivation," he said at Sydney airport en route to Perth, from where the team will fly to England.

"Still, there's going to be plenty of eyes on the TV and it is going to be great to be back out there playing."

Australia's 21-man squad will initially quarantine in Derby due to the coronavirus pandemic before the first of three Twenty20s in Southampton on September 4 in empty stadiums.

They also play three ODIs at Manchester, with both venues having hotels attached so they can remain in bio-secure bubbles.

"I'm looking forward to getting back into it, obviously it's going to be a bit different than what we're used to being in a bubble and playing with no crowds," Smith said.

"That presents a challenge in itself, but one we're looking forward to.

"We're lucky to be able to go and play, we'll just do what we need to and play it day by day, stick together as a bunch and help each other out," added the former captain.