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Langer dismisses claims of Smith mocking Leach during Ashes celebrations
The Ashes 2019

Langer dismisses claims of Smith mocking Leach during Ashes celebrations

Justin Langer has denied Steve Smith was mocking Jack Leach in the aftermath of Australia's 185-run victory at Old Trafford.

The Australian players proceeded to celebrate their Ashes-retaining win on Sunday in a boisterous manner with Smith pictured wearing a pair of glasses in the team huddle.

The raucous on-field party also featured a bespectacled Smith shadow batting left-handed while his team-mates cheered him on.

Media has been abuzz over the last couple of days with claims of Smith's antics being an unkind parody of the glasses-wearing Leach.

Leach had played a crucial role in England's dramatic one-wicket win at Headingley by providing solid support to centurion Ben Stokes.

But Australia's coach Langer has clarified Smith's gimmicks were directed towards former opening batsman Chris Rogers, who also used to wear glasses while batting.

"I was there, I know the truth, they were talking about Chris Rogers who was here four years ago," Langer told reporters.

"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.

"Experience tells me when you're doing well people try and pick holes in you. That's OK, that's life.

"Everyone in this room, around the world, has seen the great spirit the World Cup and this series is played in. People can make of it what they like but that's the truth."

Langer sarcastically remarked the current group of Australian cricketers lacked the vigour of the victorious teams he played with.

"That celebration was two out of 10 to some of the ones I have seen because we knew we had to play three days later," he said.

"When you have a good day you have to celebrate it as long as you move on and get ready for the next one.

"There is a good feeling in the group. They know there is still unfinished business and we are looking forward to this last Test match."

'Fake news' - Trevor Bayliss

England coach Trevor Bayliss, who is set to step down from his post by the end of this series, also played down the controversy and said this was not a topic of discussion in the team meetings.

"Fake news, like Donald Trump says. No one has mentioned it or spoken about it. It's all talk from you guys (the media)."

Australia have a chance to clinch their first Test series win in England in 18 years if they taste success at the Oval.

Although doubts were cast over David Warner's place in the playing XI owing to his horrid form, Langer has hinted at continuing with the opener.

"He hasn't got the runs he'd like at the moment but I'm looking forward to it when he does. There's no better place in the world to bat than the Oval. Looking forward to seeing him go well this week," he said.