Cricket: Steve Smith hits back at former South Africa captain Graeme Smith

Steve Smith has hit back at former South Africa captain Graeme Smith saying he doesn't know the Australian cricket environment. Photo / Photosport
Steve Smith has hit back at former South Africa captain Graeme Smith saying he doesn't know the Australian cricket environment. Photo / Photosport

Steve Smith has defended the culture of the Australian cricket team and hit back at criticism ahead of the second Test against South Africa.

Responding to claims from former South African captain Graeme Smith that his side weren't up for the fight, the Australian skipper has questioned his namesake's right to make such a call.

"I'm not sure what Graeme Smith knows about Australian cricket. (He) obviously wasn't involved in it," he said on Friday.

Graeme Smith, who captained South Africa in 108 Tests, said Australia had found themselves in an interesting position after four-straight Test losses, including the latest 177-run caning at the WACA.

"If I think about earlier years, it was always built on respect and the value of the baggy green," the South African said this week.

"Maybe players didn't always get on but they respected the environment and they were traditional and they understood the importance of what playing for Australia meant."

But the Australia captain insists his side are where they need to be despite the losing sequence.

"I think the team's in a good place at the moment," he said.

"We've got a good culture built on constant improvement and getting better.

"The guys are in a good place, we're a tight-knit group and we're ready to hopefully turn this around this week."

Current South African captain Faf du Plessis didn't want to get involved.

"I definitely can't comment on the Australian culture. From the outside, it looks the same as always," he said.

Steve Smith had enjoyed a dream run as captain since his full-time appointment in late 2015 but has been feeling the pressure of late.

Even former Australian spin star Shane Warne questioned the sparing use of tweaker Nathan Lyon in Perth.

"Warney's entitled to his opinion, but I stand by the way I did things," Smith said.

"We saw in that (Perth) game that the reverse swing was the biggest player in the game and it was the decision to be made about whether the quicks were going to do the job and get the ball reversing.

"When we put the ball in Lyono's hands, the ball softened and got a bit wet on one of the sides and that really hinders what you are really trying to do."

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