Smith: Swann comments ‘banter’

The 26-year-old Smith has been in sensational form of late and showed why he is the top-ranked Test batsman in the world against Kent, cruising to 111 before retiring so some of his team mates could get some batting practice.

However, Swann has said of Australia???s likely No 3: ???Weakness will emerge with Steve Smith.

???I still don???t think he???s got a great technique. I don???t think he???ll score runs at three if it is swinging.???

But, speaking after his exploits at Canterbury, Smith responded: ???That does not really bother me. It is pre-Ashes and a little bit of banter.

“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.

“For me, it is just about going out there and playing the type of game I have been over the past 12-18 months and continuing to score some runs.

“It is nice to get a hundred, but for me the most important thing was to spend some time in the middle, to try to get used to the English conditions.

“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, and hopefully I can continue absorbing the pressure and keeping the bowlers to bowl in the areas I want them to bowl.???

Mitchell Johnson took 3-42 for the Aussies when Kent batted but he was defied by Rob Key, whose last Test appearance for England came in January 2005, who showed he still has class in abundance by making a fine 87.

“I enjoyed it, it has been a while,” said the 36-year-old.

“For a large part of that I thought, ‘there is no way I get paid enough to be facing him (Johnson)’.

“But, when you go on a proper wicket against a proper attack, it’s nice to show that I can still go out there and play a few shots.”