David Warner has described Englishman Graeme Swann’s questioning of Steve Smith’s batting technique as “bizarre”.
Smith has averaged 102 in the past year, in a sublime run of form that has propelled him to the top of the ICC’s Test batting rankings and into the prime No.3 batting spot for Australia.
But former England offspinner Swann has questioned whether Smith’s unorthodox methods can thrive against the swinging ball during the Ashes series in England starting next month.
And he insisted Smith didn’t strike fear into the England side like former tormentors Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist did.
“I still don’t think he (Smith) has got a great technique,” Swann said. “He must have surprised himself, as well as everyone else, with his output.”
Australian opener Warner was dismissive of Swann’s words and was confident Smith would be likewise.
“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.
“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 was also quick to laugh off Swann’s comments as a standard pre-Ashes swipe.
“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.”