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'Rishabh Pant Wasn't Even Aware, it Hardly Mattered' - Vikram Rathour on Steve Smith Controversy

India batting coach Vikram Rathour said he does not wish to comment about the 'pitch scuffing' controversy surrounding Steve Smith, saying 'it hardly mattered'.

'Rishabh Pant Wasn't Even Aware, it Hardly Mattered' - Vikram Rathour on Steve Smith Controversy

India batting coach Vikram Rathour said he does not wish to comment about the 'pitch scuffing' controversy surrounding Steve Smith, saying 'it hardly mattered'.

Smith was caught on camera scuffing the pitch during the final day of the third Test in Sydney, with former cricketers among many suggesting he did it with an intention to erase Rishabh Pant's batting mark.

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Rathour, though, said Pant wasn't even aware.

"Basically, we didn't even know about the incident. We knew only after the game when the media picked it up. As a batsman, Rishabh Pant wasn't even aware. I wouldn't like to comment as it hardly mattered," Rathour said in the press conference ahead of the fourth Test in Brisbane.

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Smith had defended his act in the Test - in which he was Man of the Match - saying he was just doing it out of habit.

"I have been quite shocked and disappointed by the reaction to this," Smith himself had told the Daily Telegraph. "It’s something I do in games to visualise where we are bowling, how the batter is playing our bowlers and then out of habit I always mark centre."

Australia coach Justin Langer too had stood by Smith.

"I literally cannot believe some of the rubbish I read about Steve Smith. Absolute load of rubbish. If anyone knows Steve Smith - he is a bit quirky, he does some weird stuff. We have all laughed about it for the last couple of years," said Langer while speaking to the media during a virtual interaction on Wednesday morning.

"I have spoken about it publicly and I have spoken about it privately that he is a bit quirky. What Smith does at the crease, he does at most games.

"Anyone who suggests for one millisecond he was doing anything untoward, they are way out of line. Absolutely out of line. That wicket was so flat... it was like concrete. You need 15 inch spikes to make an indent on the crease."

Langer added that Smith has ensured that his bat does the talking ever since he has returned from the ball-tampering scandal.

"Seriously, I thought that was absolutely ludicrous. In the last couple of years since he's been back, he's been exemplary on and off the field. He has let his bat do the talking, he was abused like anything in England, but he kept smiling and let his bat do the talking. Give me a break."



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3 New Zealand 3716 116
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