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Steven Smith unfazed about Graeme Swann's 'Banter'

Steven Smith unfazed about Graeme Swann's 'Banter'
Steven Smith seemed unfazed about the criticism on his technique put forward by former England off-spinner Graeme Swann last week.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia's run machine Steven Smith isn't worried about the criticism on his technique put forward by former England off-spinner Graeme Swann last week.

Reacting to Swann’s comments which included a jibe at Smith’s ability to play the swinging ball in England, the Australian vice-captain stated that he had taken the dig as a gentle ‘banter’ before the Ashes series starting next month.

“That doesn’t bother me at all,” said Smith.

“Obviously it’s Pre-Ashes and a little bit of banter being thrown around.”

Smith stated that all the talk from the opposition camp will not affect him and maintained that his focus was primarily on doing his job – scoring runs.

“I’m happy with whatever he says.

“I just hope I can continue to bat the way I’ve been of late.”

With over 1300 Test runs in his last 12 Tests at a staggering average, Smith’s form carried on to the four-day tour game against Kent in Canterbury where he notched up a typically solid century to announce his arrival in England.

Dwelling on the valuable practice gained during the tour game, Smith hopes to maintain his purple patch in the Ashes series.

Smith explained the need to adjust to the English pitches especially with the Australians having just arrived from West Indies where conditions differ.

“For me I think the most important thing was to spend time in the middle and try to get use to the English conditions.

“Obviously it is different to the West Indies where we’ve just been and back home.

"It’s been nice to spend some time in the middle and get a hundred at the same time.”

Smith believes that he has matured as a player considerably in comparison to his previous tour of England back in 2013.

That series saw the young batsman show promise as he compiled a half-century and an unbeaten century in the three Tests that he featured.

With tons of runs under his belt since that series, Smith stated that he had extreme faith in his ability as a batsman at present – something that he feels wasn’t there during the previous Ashes tour.

“I think I know my game a lot better than I did then.

“I was fresh in the side back then and I’ve certainly got a lot more confidence in my game now.

“Everything really feels good for me at the moment.

“So, hopefully I can continue absorbing the pressure and keep making the bowlers bowl in areas that I want them to bowl.”

While the whole of Australia are in awe of his batting skills, an unknown fact is that Smith had an opportunity to represent his Ashes rivals at one point of his career.

Confirming the news, Smith revealed that the incident happened during his days at Surrey mainly due to his mother’s roots being in England.

However, five years into his international career for Australia now and Smith is visibly happy with his decision to represent his home country.

“I ended up playing a bit of cricket for Surrey and they might have wanted to get me along.

“I think I’ve made a wise decision to play back home.”

Smith's form will be crucial for an Australian team that will be targeting their first series win in England since 2001.

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