Justin Langer and Trevor Bayliss have dismissed reports Steve Smith mocked Jack Leach during Australia's post-Ashes victory celebrations at Old Trafford.
After retaining the urn by taking an unassailable 2-1 series lead in Manchester following a tense 185-run win in the final hour of day five, the tourists celebrated on the outfield - just like England did at Headingley after winning the third Test.
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Smith was seen wearing and rubbing a pair of glasses before shadow batting left-handed in the middle of a team huddle, something Leach often did during his two long vigils at the crease during the second innings of the third and fourth Tests.
It led to speculation he was parodying the spinner, something coach Langer denied and insisted Smith was instead mimicking bespectacled former Australia opener Chris Rogers.
"Experience tells me when you're doing well people try and pick holes in you," Langer said.
"That's OK, that's life. I was there, I know the truth, they were talking about Chris Rogers, who was here four years ago.
"That is actually the truth of it. Chris Rogers is a great mate of the squad, that's what it was about.
"People can make of it what they like. We can't do anything of what people make of it.
"Everyone has seen the great spirit the World Cup and this series is played in. There's been great spirit throughout. People can make of it what they like but that's the truth."
England coach slams ‘fake news’
England coach Bayliss called the reports 'fake news' and said there had been no mention of the incident by the England players or any outrage from them over it.
"Fake news, Is that what Donald Trump says?" Bayliss said.
"No one's mentioned it, no one's spoken about it, all the talk had been from you guys. Absolutely nothing."
According to The Sun reporter David Coverdale, Smith was “taking the p***” out of Leach.
But the photographer who snapped the pics also said the target was Rogers.
Bit of chat in the UK and Australian press this morning that Steve Smith was mocking Jack Leach last night. The fact is Steve donned some glasses as a nod to the great Chris ‘Bucky’ Rogers. Uncanny resemblance wouldn’t you say! 🤓🏺🇦🇺 @gettysport @stevesmith49 #Ashes19 pic.twitter.com/pDtlsGBY9A— Ryan Pierse (@RyanPierse) September 9, 2019
Pierse and Coverdale clashed on social media about the real story, with Coverdale also claiming he heard the Aussies chanting “no ball” and “come back Smithy” in reference to Leach’s no-ball that gifted Smith a massive lifeline in the fourth Test.
England fans were quick to slam Smith before the Australian version of events came out.
Feel pity. You can't buy class.— Mark Jordan (@MarkSJordan) September 8, 2019
As always , classless in victory...— Kaypers (@kaypers23) September 9, 2019
“We should stop booing and applaud how far the man has come”. Immensely talented but will always be an arrogant sod— Alan (@al_smith11) September 8, 2019