Yesterday, Steve Smith was all over social media as a video of him removing Rishabh Pant’s batting guard went viral. The star batsman was seen scraping the guard Pant had taken with his shoes which stunned everyone. Australian captain Tim Paine has now come in support of Smith and asserted that he wasn’t doing anything wrong.
It was believed that Smith might have been looking to disturb Pant by removing his batting guard as he was taking the match away from Australia. Several former cricketers and cricket enthusiasts heavily criticised Smith’s action and tagged it as ‘cheating’ and ‘unacceptable’.
Tim Paine comes in support of Steve Smith
Now after the conclusion of a hard-fought SCG Test, the Aussie skipper declared that Smith is disappointed with how his actions were misinterpreted. Paine added that Smith just loves batting and he has this habit of shadow batting at the crease even while Australia is fielding. Paine pointed out that Smith was certainly not changing Pant’s guard but was just visualising how he would have batted on that surface on day 5.
“I have spoken to Steve about it. He is really disappointed with the way it has come across. If you watch Steve Smith play Test cricket that is something he does every single game five or six times a day. He does this a lot. He is always in the batting crease batting. As we know he has those many Steve Smith quirks. One of them is that he was always marking centre. He was certainly not changing (Pant’s) guard’, Tim Paine told the reporters regarding the Steve Smith controversy.
“I imagine if he was, the Indian players would have kicked up a bit of a stink at the time. I have seen Steve do it many times in Tests and games I have played against him. He likes to visualise how he is going to play. Yesterday you could see him up there playing shots as a left-hander to where he wanted Lyon to pitch the ball”, Paine concluded.
Meanwhile, everyone is aware of how much Steve Smith likes batting but a senior player like him should never go near the batting crease while in the field. Rishabh Pant had to take another guard which is quite disturbing for a well-set batsman. The SCG Test was again surrounded by a lot of controversies but more importantly, both teams on the field too played a competitive match and the series is still tied at 1-1.