England ‘won’t sledge Warner and Smith’
They've already copped plenty from the England fans but returning duo David Warner and Steve Smith will get a free run from rival players according to stand-in England captain Jos Buttler.
The Southampton crowd delivered a nasty initiation yesterday when it taunted both players, calling them "cheats" and booing Smith's century.
Smith (116 off 102) and Warner (43 off 55) had the last laugh, posting Australia's biggest two scores in its shock practice match win against England.
Buttler said English players rarely engaged in verbal stoushes because "most the guys just want to play cricket".
"Steven and David Warner have obviously been back playing in the IPL and, from my experience, guys just got on with playing cricket," the explosive wicketkeeper said.
"He just looked like the Steve Smith of old, didn't he? Class player. He is one of the world's best batsmen."
Buttler expects to hand the English captaincy back to Eoin Morgan (broken finger) for Thursday's World Cup opener against South Africa in London.
England assistant coach Paul Collingwood was forced into action as an emergency fielder against Australia as paceman Mark Wood was sent for scans on a foot injury.
Like Wood, all-rounder Liam Dawson was unable to bat after splitting the skin on his right ring finger in the field, while Adil Rashid is also carrying a shoulder niggle.
Jofra Archer and Rashid were not picked against Australia but were required to replace Dawson and Wood in the batting line-up after their injuries.
They required 15 runs off the last over but survived just three deliveries as Marcus Stoinis bowled Australia to a 12-run win.