The news was the inclusion of Ollie Pope, who will bat at No 4 at Lord's eventually after day one was washed out due to rain, it was the comment on Malan that raised a few eyebrows. Smith's words, circulated via an official ECB release, stated: "Dawid has not found his best rhythm this season, and it may be that his game is better suited to overseas conditions."
It seemed like slight on the 30-year-old that, despite 10-years and counting of playing in England, his future at the highest level lies away from home. Smith, who played with Malan at the start of his career at Middlesex, defended his choice of words and went on to give them more context. The following was also relayed to Malan on Thursday during a face-to-face meeting that lasted "a couple of hours".
The door seems to remain open thanks in part to his innings of 140 at the WACA this winter.
"He has had a full calendar year of Test cricket and he knows where he is at. He has shown that he can play very well at Test level," said Smith.
"He showed with that excellent Test hundred at Perth that he can play very well on the international stage. We talked about general form which everyone understands and then specifically he has aptitudes that not everyone has.
"Not that many people score hundreds at Perth, I know Ben Stokes has and Brian Luckhurst scored a hundred at Perth but not that many Englishmen have looked as comfortable at the WACA as David did.
"Moving forward we talked about how his strengths could come into play, but in no way did I mean that line as an implicit criticism, he has scored over 10,000 first class runs in England and the guy has shown he can play very well on different surfaces.
"But in an England shirt, one of the things he has done distinctively is play very well in very alien conditions so I wanted to reaffirm to him that one of the things we are looking at is having the right players for the right conditions, which is not horses for courses.
"I bridle at that sense because you wouldn't play someone who can only play well at one ground, that is not going to happen. We are not interested in going back to picking one player for one Test.