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Aussie skipper Smith fumes over ‘mates pick’ claims

SYDNEY: Australia skipper Steve Smith on Friday rubbished claims he favours his "mates" as selection looms for the highly anticipated Ashes Test series with England. Smith is not part of Australia's three-man selection panel, but he has been assailed by former players who believe he gets too much say in Australia's lineups. The captain hit back strongly at a media conference in Sydney, calling suggestions of favouritism "absolute garbage". "I'm not a selector, but I certainly speak to the selectors a lot and express…