Freshly crowned Allan Border Medallist Steve Smith admits he was “looking at the finish line” during the one-day series and should have put his hand up to be rested earlier.
Smith dominated the Test series against England amassing 687 runs at an average of 137.5, but struggled in the shorter form making just 102 runs at 20.4.
The Australian skipper told SEN Breakfast that it was a “huge summer” and the pressure of the Ashes series took its toll on him.
“An Ashes series takes that little bit more out of you with everything that is going on behind the scenes and I guess the pressure of the games and every game going five days as well – that doesn’t happen too often,” he said.
“I really needed a break at the end of the one-dayers. I was absolutely nowhere and I probably wasn’t honest with myself throughout it. Getting through the mid-stages of the one-day series I was looking at the finish line and hoping that it came around quickly.
“It’s been a good couple of weeks off and I want to pick up a cricket bat now, which is positive signs and (I’m) ready to go for what’s going to be an exciting and challenging tour of South Africa.”
Smith said he watched the recent South Africa/India series with interest, but despite some juicy wickets, is prepared for whatever the South African curators dish up.
“It could be a bit of everything in the series depending on what they want to serve up,” he said.
“For us it’s just about adapting to whatever they put in front of us and playing to the conditions.”
Meanwhile, Smith says he hasn’t had to rebuild his relationship with batsman Glenn Maxwell after making comments earlier in the summer that the talented Victorian needed to “train smarter” following his omission from both the Test and one-day squads.
“Maxy’s a hugely talented guy and I just want to see him make the most of that talent,” Smith said.
“The last couple of weeks he’s been magnificent, he’s been playing some terrific cricket.
“I get on well with Maxy. I had a private meeting with him recently and while I’m not going to go into detail of what was said, but he’s in a really good place with his game – he’s comfortable and he’s playing good cricket.”
Listen to Steve Smith’s chat on SEN Breakfast below!