Steve Smith was chipped by chirpy English cricketers long before he topped the ICC’s Test batting charts.
Paceman Stuart Broad and former offspinner Graeme Swann have both questioned Smith’s technique in the lead-up to the Ashes.
But Smith says it’s nothing new, revealing he had received plenty of unsolicited feedback during the 2013 series.
“I remember Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell getting into me quite a bit. I don’t think they really rated the way I played – a little bit about that (technique),” Smith said.
“There were bits of that floating around, but I can’t really remember much.
“Maybe I’ve changed their views now.”
The 26-year-old is in the form of his life, having posted a century in all but one of his past six Tests.
Throw in a chanceless ton against Kent in his only pre-Ashes knock on tour and it’s easy to understand Smith’s sense of confidence before the first Test starts on Wednesday in Cardiff.
Broad pointed to the fact Smith failed to have “amazing success in England” during the 2013 series as something England could draw on.
“He got a hundred at the Oval on a flat wicket,” Broad quipped.
Smith viewed the importance of his maiden Test ton slightly differently.
“It was something I always dreamed of and, since that moment, I have felt that I belonged,” he said.
Far from being satisfied, Smith has since worked overtime to improve.
Two centuries in the return Ashes series cemented Smith’s place in the side.
A year later, he dominated India in unprecedented fashion, breaking Don Bradman’s record for most Test runs in a series between the two countries.
“I haven’t got to a point where I say – this is the perfect way to do things,” he said.
“I don’t think it is ever finished. You want to keep getting better every day.”
As for the debate about him shuffling up the order to first drop, Smith couldn’t see what the fuss was about.
“It’s just a number,” he said.
“Batting at No.4 or No.5, a couple of early wickets and you’re in – potentially in the first one or two overs.”
Smith was also unsurprisingly unperturbed about a technique that had delivered 1052 Test runs since the start of December.
“People might say my technique’s a little bit different. I don’t see it that way,” he said.
“All my fundamentals are all the same.”