The third Test between India and Australia ended in a draw at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The match had its fair share of shenanigans including one former Aussie skipper Steve Smith practising one of his usual quirks on the pitch on the final day of the Sydney Test.
In a video that went viral on social media showed Smith scuffing up Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant’s batting guard marks during the drinks break in the first season on day five of the third Test. However, in the latest development, Australia Test skipper Tim Paine has come to the rescue of his teammate.
Paine in a virtual press conference defended Smith and said, ‘I have spoken to Steve about this and I know he is really disappointed with the way it has come across. And if you watch Steve Smith play Test cricket, that is something that he does every single game five or six times a day.’
He further explained that Smith has always been standing at the batting crease and practiced shadow batting. He also added that the star batsman has many quirks, and this is one of many Smith’s possess, where he is ‘always marking sand.’
The host skipper said that if Smith had changed the guard marks, the visitors would have complained about it.
‘He (Smith) was certainly not changing guard and imagine if he was, then the Indian players would have kicked up a bit of stink (at) that time, Paine added. He further defended Smith by stating that he’s been witness to the former’s quirks ‘many a times in Test matches and Shield games.’ He also added that when Smith is on the field, he walks up to where he bats and visualises how is he going to play.
Speaking about the video that surfaced online and kicked up a storm, Paine is of the opinion that the whole situation has been wrongly perceived and is hopeful of a reconsideration, especially by the cricket fans.
Once the video started making rounds on social media, it drew criticism from the likes of former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag, former England players David Lloyd and Michael Vaughan who criticised Smith’s actions.