Steve Smith piled on the misery for India with his 178 not out in the first innings of third Test between India and Australia in Ranchi. (India vs Australia: Day 3 blog)
On the way, he broke a few records and cemented his name in the list of greatest Test batsman of his country.
He brought up his ton in the final session of the first day of play and got a rapturous hand from the Aussie dressing room as well as strike partner Glenn Maxwell.
However, it was observed that none of the Indian players applauded his achievement which, it was suggested, might have been in protest to his “brain fade” comment in the previous match.
In the second Test in Bangalore, the Aussie skipper appeared to consult his side’s dressing room in order to get feedback on whether he should appeal for a DRS on his dismissal; a move seen by many as unethical and not in the spirit of the game.
Words have been exchanged and much has been written in the media of both nations with Smith claiming it was a momentary lapse on his part and a mistake.
However, Australian cricketer Dirk Nannes suggested Indian players might still be holding a grudge in their refusal to applaud his stand.
Indian players’ grudge
“The disappointing aspect for me today was none of the Indians actually clapped when he got to his hundred,” Nannes told ABC Grandstand.
“You can bicker and argue all you want and play the game hard with lots of niggle but when someone stands up and puts together an innings like that that’s absolutely chanceless, that’s a time you’ve just got to applaud.
“That was probably the disappointing thing from my point of view.”
He suggested that Indian players might have been standing up for their captain Virat Kohli in not applauding Smith.
Kohli had suffered a shoulder problem and was off the field when the Australian’s ton came up. He and Smith had a war of words via press conferences in the days leading up to the game.
Nannes suggested that while the Indian players might have decided to stand by their captain, they should have still applauded the achievement.
“Not one of the Indian players clapped Steve Smith when he made a hundred,” Nannes said.
“You can’t do that. No matter what’s happened before, you’ve got to acknowledge when someone does a good thing. If I was the captain, I’d be ropeable.”
Australian commentator Jim Maxwell also weighed into the discussion. In response to a tweet saying it was unfortunate that Indian players didn’t applaud, Maxwell suggested that it was a show of disrespect.
Unfortunate or just disrespectful! https://t.co/3lpSVxkmiw— jim maxwell (@jimmaxcricket) March 16, 2017
Australia finished at 299 runs for four wickets on Thursday.
While Smith did not make any comments about Indian players not applauding his century, he did express regret over the events of the last Test.
“You cannot control the past. I came out and said I made a mistake and moved on from there. And 4/300, we will take that, but tomorrow is going to be a crucial day for us,” Smith said after the day’s play on Thursday.
Australia ended their first innings at 451 all out the next day but had Glenn Maxwell complete a century. Maxwell became the second Australian to score a ton in all three formats of the game.
Smith’s century was the 19th of his Test career. While doing so, he also reached the milestone of 5000 Test runs.