Steve Smith reacts to Joe Root omission for England's series against Australia

Steve Smith admits he was ‘surprised’ to see Joe Root overlooked by England for the upcoming Twenty20 series against Australia.

England’s Test captain has been left out of the three-match series, which starts on Friday at The Ageas Bowl, but will feature in the subsequent ODI matches.

Root is arguably England’s most accomplished batsman across all formats – averaging 48 in Tests and more than 35 in the T20I format – and Australia star Smith is ‘surprised’ by his absence.

‘It’s a surprise. Joe is a terrific player across all formats of the game,’ Smith told PA in his first interview since arriving from Australia.

‘I guess England are opting for all-out power and are continuing to go that way. Everyone’s got different game-plans and different ways to go.

‘If everyone played the same it would be a pretty boring game. There’s a few ways to skin a cat and ours might be a little bit different to England’s, which might be a little bit different to India’s.

‘That’s the route they’ve taken for now, but I guess we’ll concentrate on the way we go about our business.’

Former Australia captain Smith has a similar role to Root in white-ball cricket and often tries to anchor the innings, allowing the more destructive batsmen to play naturally beside him.

‘I know my role within this team,’ said Smith. ‘It’s important every player has a role to play and understands the way they play their best.

‘I know if I’m batting with someone like Glenn Maxwell or Aaron Finch my role is to get them on strike and let them smack it.

‘For me it’s about hitting gaps, sort of playing an anchor role and fixing things up if the big boys don’t get out there and smack it. We all know our roles and I’m comfortable with mine.

‘You’ve got to keep refining and keeping up with the new skills. You’ve just got to keep getting better. But I don’t think there’s a reason why players can’t be quality across all formats.’

England national selector Ed Smith, meanwhile, has insisted the door is not shut for Root in T20 cricket despite his recent snub.

‘I don’t think any door is closed to Joe Root,’ Smith said. ‘At the moment, we are setting up in a particular way as an XI in T20 cricket.

‘Joe’s not in that and if he’s not in that starting XI, although no doors are closed to him in the future, where’s the right place for Joe?

‘He plays so much cricket, gives so much to England every time he plays and the decision is it’s not right we have him in the squad if he’s not likely to be starting.

‘I think we’ve all seen Joe is an exceptionally adaptable and outstanding batsman and he could easily come back into the reckoning but at the moment that’s where he sits.’

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