David Warner slams Graeme Swann for dig at Steve Smith
Australian opening batsman David Warner has criticized former England off-spinner Graeme Swann for taking a dig at Steve Smith's batting technique.
Terming Swann’s comments as "bizarre", Warner stated that Smith’s phenomenal turnaround as a batsman may have surprised the English players, many of whom had mocked the 24-year-old during the previous Ashes tour in 2013.
Smith, who wasn’t a certainty in the Australian squad two years ago, has notched up over 2,500 runs spread across all formats since January 2014 eventually becoming the top-ranked batsman in Tests too.
"It's actually quite bizarre," Warner told Sky Sports Radio from England.
"I want to keep quiet, but we go back to the (2013) Ashes over here, and there were a couple of funny comments.
"A couple of their players when we were out there (on the field), saying he wouldn't make the first Test at the Gabba.
"But look, now he's the best batsman in the world.”
Earlier in the week, Swann had expressed doubt over the in-form Smith’s ability to counter the swinging ball in England.
While raising questions over Smith’s technique, Swann had also added that the 24-year-old isn’t an intimidating player like his predecessors.
Warner expressed amusement at the remarks made by Swann and insisted that Smith will not be affected by the criticism.
"It's quite funny how they come out and have these remarks.
"If they want to make statements like that in the media, good luck to them because ‘Smudge’ is not a person who reads the media, he probably wouldn't care anyway.
"He's in the form of his career, and I personally think the best is yet to come."
Australian skipper Michael Clarke preferred to remain silent over Swann’s comments labeling them as ‘mind games’ prior to the Ashes series.
Stressing on the importance of action over words, Clarke is confident of Smith’s consistency in the five-match Test series that begins on 8th July.
"I'm sure he's probably just trying to get under the skin of a few of the players," Clarke said.
"It's not what you say – it's what you do.
“We'll find out in five Test matches time if Steve Smith's good enough to have success over here."
Australia haven’t won an Ashes series in England since their 4-1 win under Steve Waugh in 2001.
© Cricket World 2015