Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith feeling pretty happy with themselves after Australia's win over England last week in the first Test.
Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith feeling pretty happy with themselves after Australia's win over England last week in the first Test. DARREN ENGLAND

Aussies' mirth rubs England the wrong way

ENGLAND captain Joe Root wants to wipe the smile off the face of his opposite number, Steve Smith.

The tourists were taken aback by Smith's chuckling during a press conference after the Australians' victory in the first Test in Brisbane, when discussing the now infamous "headbutt” incident involving English tkeeper Jonny Bairstow and Aussie opener Cameron Bancroft.

With the second Test starting today in Adelaide, England wants to have the last laugh.

Root wants his players seeing red for the inaugural pink ball Ashes Test.

"If that's not motivation to the players, I don't know what is,” he said. "Hopefully that will work massively in our favour.

"You look at the end of the game and you are obviously very disappointed, but to see a reaction like that in a press conference - I mean, if that can't get you up for the next game then I don't know what can.

"I know it's an Ashes series, there is a lot on the line and naturally you are going to be motivated for every game, but knowing the characters in our dressing- room that will really give them a bit of something else to make sure we put things right this week.”

Bairstow greeted Bancroft with a headbutt when they met each socially in Perth last month.

Sitting next to Smith in the press conference, the Australian debutant opener recalled the incident, saying it was "just really weird” but not "malicious”.

Still, the Aussies used the incident as a way to sledge Bairstow in the field at the Gabba.

"This will motivate Jonny,” added Root.

"You look at all of his best performances in an England shirt and they come when the team desperately needs him to stand up and deliver.

"It's never nice when your personality is questioned and your actions are taken out of context. He is that sort of character that likes to stand out and stand up when questions are asked of the side.”

Root is hoping the day-night conditions will help his bowling attack.

"We need to be ruthless as a bowling unit at getting the ball moving laterally and getting stuff out of the wicket when it is slightly flatter,” he said.

"If we can do that I have full confidence we will bowl them out cheaply.”



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