Steve Smith and David Warner are handling the boo-boys – Adam Zampa
Warner made 89 in Australia’s opening World Cup game.
Steve Smith and David Warner are providing the ideal riposte to the jeers they have faced since arriving in England for the World Cup, according to Australia team-mate Adam Zampa.
Fifteen months on from the fateful ball-tampering scandal that led to the pair serving year-long suspensions, Warner and Smith have been routinely booed when arriving at the crease or reaching a significant landmark.
Smith described the hostility that greeted him when he brought up a hundred in the warm-up against England at the Ageas Bowl last week as “water off a duck’s back”.
Warner, meanwhile, received catcalls upon reaching a half-century against Afghanistan in Bristol, where he underpinned Australia’s seven-wicket victory in their World Cup opener with a measured 89 not out from 114 balls.
But in refusing to be cowed by their detractors and making significant contributions, Zampa believes Smith and Warner are proving they are unfazed by their apparent pariah status on these shores.
Zampa said: “I think the way they are handing themselves has been great. Same for all of us.
“We spoke about it during our camp in Brisbane about how we are going to react to it and how we are going to handle it and we haven’t spoken about it since.
“I think we expected what we were going to cop and I think all of us, to our credit, are just getting on with the job.
“You heard the boos when Smithy went out there. Call it what you want, disrespectful, or just a part of the game. Either way, I think the way that us as players are handling it has been great.
“If you let it get to you, I suppose that is when something will happen.”
Warner anchored the pursuit of 208 following a belligerent 66 off 49 balls from Australia captain Aaron Finch as the defending champions overhauled their target with 15.1 overs to spare.
Zampa had earlier taken three for 60 as qualifiers Afghanistan were all out for 207, a total that was swelled after Najibullah Zadran (51) took the attack to the Australia leg-spinner, carting him for four-four-six-six.
Zampa said: “It is tough sometimes. Particularly as a wrist-spinner, you know sometimes that is going to happen.
“The ball didn’t come out as well as I would have liked to, to be honest with you, but that is going to happen.”
As for Afghanistan’s prospects for the rest of the tournament, Zampa added: “I think they are going to cause some upsets.”
Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib believes his side’s performance proves they belong at this level.
He said: “Definitely, we can play against these kind of teams. We just look and we just take a positive thing.
“But credit goes to the Australian side, they bowled really well.”
As for the crowd reactions towards Smith and Warner, Gulbadin added: “I have a lot of respect for Smith and Warner, obviously, but it’s a crowd audience. You cannot do anything against them.
“(But) they ignored the crowd.”