• Smith: It’s just words, it doesn’t affect me

    Australia batsman Steve Smith, like teammate David Warner, is expecting a hostile reception from South African crowds during this month’s T20I series.

    Smith and Warner are in the squads for the three T20Is and as many ODIs. The pair were banned for ball-tampering during 2018’s tour of South Africa.

    READ: Du Plessis quits Test and T20I captaincy

    ‘They are hostile at the best of times here. It doesn’t bother me too much. I honestly don’t notice it, particularly when I am batting. I don’t really hear anything that’s going on and I block it all out,’ said Smith.

    ‘Maybe a little bit when I am fielding. But then again it’s just words, it doesn’t affect me. I think I will be doing some outfielding so I’m looking forward to it. I will smile and laugh and play along and have fun.

    ‘Walking into the hotel in Sandton, initially I was like, last time I left here it wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t the best time in my life. But I’ve moved on from that and learned a lot over the last two years and I’m moving forward.

    ‘I’ve been to a few of the restaurants where people have been lovely. Guys have come up and had a few photographs, so that’s been good. It’s been pretty normal to when I have been here previously.’

    The first T20I will be played at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, where Smith has played two T20Is but scored just 28 runs.

    ‘We are at a place with altitude, so the ball just flies. You don’t have to over-hit the ball. If you hit the middle of the bat, it will go a long way,’ he added.

    Photo: Getty Images

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