India vs Australia: 'Out of habit I always mark centre', Smith denies accusations of scuffing Rishabh Pant's guard
- India vs Australia: Australia batsman Steve Smith has denied allegations of scuffing Rishabh Pant's guard at the batting crease during the third Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Australia batsman Steve Smith has denied allegations of scuffing Rishabh Pant's guard at the batting crease during the third Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
A video of Smith, recorded by the stump camera, surfaced on social media where the Australia batter could be seen dragging his boot across the crease on the final day of the match. A few former cricketers including Virender Sehwag and Michael Vaughan accused Smith of tarnishing the sportsmanship. Reacting on the entire episode Smith said that he had been marking centre as he always does.
In a conversation with News Corp on Tuesday, the former Australian captain stated that he was ‘shocked and disappointed’ by suggestions he had tried to gain an unfair advantage.
“It's something I do in games to visualize where we are bowling, how the batter is playing our bowlers and then out of habit I always mark centre. It's such a shame that this and other events have taken away from what was a great batting performance by India yesterday,” Smith told News Corp.
Earlier on Monday, Australian Test captain Tim Paine defended Smith, stating that the latter had merely been indulging one of his many idiosyncrasies.
“If you've watched Steve Smith play Test cricket, that's something that he does every single game five or six times a day. He's always standing in the batting crease shadow batting. As we know, he's got those many Steve Smith quirks and one of those is he's always marking centre,” Paine said during the virtual press-conference.
“He was certainly not changing (Pant's) guard and if he was that's something that the Indians would have kicked up a bit stink about at the time,” he added.
Pant's spectacular knock of 97 set the platform for India to save the Test after being set a daunting target of 407 to win, with Hanuma Vihari and Ashwin thwarting Australia's attack over the last three hours to secure a draw.