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Smith not bothered by Swann broadside

Steve Smith opted to shoulder arms instead of fire back at former England offspinner Graeme Swann.

Smith has climbed to No.1 on the International Cricket Council’s Test batting rankings after a sensational run of form, which continued with an unbeaten ton against Kent on Friday.

Swann suggested earlier this week the 26-year-old “must have surprised himself, as well as everyone else, with his output”.

“I still don’t think he’s got a great technique,” Swann said.

“I don’t think he’ll score runs at three if it’s swinging.”

Smith, who scored 111 in Canterbury before retiring to ensure his colleagues got a decent hit, wasn’t worried about the comments.

“That doesn’t really bother me. It’s obviously pre-Ashes – a little bit of banter and that kind of thing being thrown around,” Smith said.

“I am happy for him to say whatever he likes, and hopefully I can just continue to let my bat do the talking.

“You can expect that, trying to get into guys’ heads. It has certainly happened before and will do again.”

The century in Canterbury was a satisfying return to the county for Smith, who had a stint playing Kent league cricket as a 17-year-old in 2007.

There’s been no shortage of ups and downs since for the leg-spinning allrounder who became Australia’s long-term replacement for Ricky Ponting at first drop.

His rise and rise started with the summer of Steve.

Smith scored 769 runs at an average of 128.16 in the four-Test home series against India, breaking all manner of records.

The big question was whether he could replicate the runs in English conditions.

“The first couple of net sessions I had were a little bit different to what I was expecting,” Smith said.

“It takes a bit of getting used to, but I think the time out in the middle will do me a world of good.

“Everything feels good at the moment.”

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