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England sledging just inspired me: Smith

Australia captain says England ploy to put him off his game had the opposite effect but tourists take heart after uncustomary low scores

Four days after Steve Smith was berated with banter by Englishmen Stuart Broad and James Anderson, the truth has finally come out as to what impact it had on the Australia captain.

Anderson said on Tuesday night after the fourth day's play that Smith's opening-day dismissal for 40 – cheap by his platinum standards – was in part due to the relentless sledging aimed at the world's best Test batsman.

'Look at them go': Broad, Smith get fired up

But Smith disagreed with Anderson's assessment.

"I think the opposite," Smith said. "I think they actually switched me on to be perfectly honest with you.

"It was when they stopped talking to me that I might have lost concentration.

"I actually enjoyed it. It made me really focused, it got me in my little bubble and I had my idiosyncrasies about myself and it got me going.

"They can think what they like but from my point of view it made me focus."

While it might not have affected Smith, it's clear Anderson got under the skin of the Australians.

Anderson and Smith in comical Adelaide stand-off

After Mitchell Starc bowled Jonny Bairstow to seal Australia's 120-run win the second Magellan Ashes Test, the bowler turned around to celebrate with a clenched fist in Anderson's direction at the non-striker's end.

Sledging once again came under the microscope in this Test but England captain Joe Root said the animosity that was on show between the two teams represented the passion of both sides.

"It's Ashes cricket," Root said. "I don't think it ever went too far, I think both sides are desperate to win and desperate to do their country proud.

"And that was just expressed, I think, out on the field."

Root finds positives despite 0-2 series deficit

Whether England will continue to sledge Smith is yet to be seen, but his second innings score of six was his lowest score in more than a year.

Root says his charges need to pick the right time and place to verbally target the Australia captain.

"We have to make sure that we read the situation next time around, it could be completely different," he said.

"I think we have obviously got a few different plans that seemed to work quite nicely here but every game is different.

"(Smith) is a good player, he will come back, I'm sure, with some sort of reply.

"It's nice to know that we have a number of different guys make him work very hard for his runs and get him out so yeah it is promising in a way, yeah."

2017-18 International Fixtures

Magellan Ashes Series

Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers.

England Test squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson (vc), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.

First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard

Second Test Australia won by 120 runs (Day-Night). Scorecard

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Tickets

Gillette ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets

Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21