Steve Smith was back to his best in the field.
Steve Smith was back to his best in the field.

Smith catch passes fitness test in warm-up match

Steve Smith's sore elbow received the firmest of tests - and it passed in flying colours.

As Tom Latham squirted a Jason Behrendorff delivery to short mid-on, Smith lunged and, with his arm outstretched, clung on with his right hand.

Smith underwent surgery on that elbow in January and it was still so sore that, as little as two weeks ago, he was unable to throw overarm while fielding in the Indian Premier League.

But a diving Smith appeared pain-free as he dismissed Latham on Monday, and the significance was not lost on the crowd at Allan Border Field, which erupted in celebration.

The fact Smith was fielding at a hot spot serves as further evidence he has complete faith in his health.

Smith trained with his elbow heavily strapped on Sunday but the blinding catch has dismissed any concerns the former captain wouldn't be fit for the World Cup.

With Mitchell Starc (pectoral) firing in the nets on Sunday, that leaves Jhye Richardson (dislocated shoulder) as the only medical concern for Australia before they jet to England.

Smith said last week he expected his elbow to be "100 per cent" by the time Australia arrives in London (next Wednesday) and that prediction now looks spot on.

Steve Smith is congratulated by team-mates after taking a wonder catch during a World Cup practice match between Australia and New Zealand. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Steve Smith is congratulated by team-mates after taking a wonder catch during a World Cup practice match between Australia and New Zealand. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

"From the surgery I have still got some scar tissue and stuff in there and just the impact of the landing affected it a little bit, but there is nothing wrong with it - all good" Smith said.

"I think just the loads from batting and stuff is good for the elbow to keep the rehab ticking along. It's all going really well, I am happy with that.

"I have gradually built (my fielding) to where I have been able to field at more hot spots - at mid-off more and things like that."

The former captain fielded predominantly in the slips on Monday with all of his usual mannerisms on show.

Smith hung a white towel out the back of his trousers and often stood holding his hands together behind his back.

It was a welcome blast from the past for cricket fans, complete with David Warner in frequent conversations with captain Aaron Finch and the bowler during overs.

Smith took another ripping catch to dismiss Warner in the IPL last week and his sharpness in the field will bring a smile to coach Justin Langer's face.