Smith: England won’t come close in the Ashes

Australia batsman Steve Smith is confident that the Aussies will come up trumps against England in the Ashes later this year, and doesn't think Alastair Cook's side have much of a chance, even on home soil.

Australia won the most recent Ashes in 2014 with a handy whitewash, and have since been dominating opposition sides. They also won the World Cup this year, while England failed to advance past the group stage.

Smith told Cricinfo: "I can't wait to get over there and play another Ashes against England in their conditions after beating them so convincingly in Australia. 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 12-18 months, I don't think that they'll come close to us to be honest."

Smith's Rajasthan Royals team-mate and Australia all-rounder Shane Watson agreed, saying that there wasn't anyone in the squad in poor form, not enough for England to take advantage of anyway.

Watson said: "We've got a very strong squad that's going over to England. We've got good depth and the best part is everyone is in nearly career-best form right now which is most important as well.

"There is a huge hunger within the group because we know that we haven't won in England for the last three series. I've been involved in two of those. There's a big burning desire to be involved in an Ashes winning campaign in England as well.

"We're as well prepared as we can be within our group. I'm incredibly excited about what's on the horizon with the Ashes and everyone else is as well."

As for the captaincy question, Smith is the leading contender to take over from Michael Clarke in all formats. Clarke has already quit ODIs, and Smith is seemingly being groomed for the Test role too, though he was cautious about saying so.

He said: "It's not my job to decide who is going to be the captain in the future. I've had some good experiences and really enjoyed captaining the team in Michael's absence in the summer against India.

"It was a great learning experience for me to have senior players like Shane and Brad Haddin around the group to bounce ideas off.

"Shane was very supportive throughout the home series and to have him and Hadds next to me while I was standing at second slip and to have that wealth of experience beside me and to bounce ideas off them was really beneficial for me at the start and I really enjoyed the experience of captaining Australia."