'He would've needed 15-inch spikes to do what people were accusing him of': Langer on Smith criticism

Updated on Jan 13, 2021 01:26 PM IST

India vs Australia: Langer has dismissed the allegations, calling Smith's criticism, 'ludicrous and a load of rubbish,' and explained how although the former Australia captain does have a tendency to do a few things out of the box, he would do nothing that would tarnish the spirit of the game.

Justin Langer (L) with Steve Smith(Getty)
Justin Langer (L) with Steve Smith(Getty)
Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

Australia coach Justin Langer is miffed with the criticism directed at Steve Smith that he scuffed Rishabh Pant's guard. During the drink's interval on Day 5 of the Sydney Test, the stump camera recorded Smith shadow practicing at the crease where Pant was supposed to take strike. He scuffed the area on the pitch with his boots where the batsman would usually have marked his guard and this led to speculations whether Smith opted for questionable tactics to give Australia benefit.

Also Read | Out of habit I always mark centre: Smith on accusations of scuffing Pant's guard

However, Langer has dismissed the allegations, calling Smith's criticism, 'ludicrous and a load of rubbish,' and explained how although the former Australia captain does have a tendency to do a few things out of the box, he would do nothing that would tarnish the spirit of the game.

"I literally cannot believe some of the rubbish I read about Steve Smith. Absolute load of rubbish. I mean, if anyone knows Steve Smith, he is a bit quirky and he does some weird (stuff) and we have laughed about it for the last couple of years," Langer said during a virtual press conference organised by Sony Sports Network.

Also Read | ‘Ended up looking a fool, didn’t I,’ says Tim Paine

"I have spoken about it publicly, privately about how he is a bit quirky. What Steve Smith does at the crease, he does it probably most games, he is just thinking about the game."

The belief that Smith was out of line for his actions stem from the fact that the former Australia captain was at the centre of the Sandpaper gate in South Africa on 2018 where he and David Warner were the prime candidates responsible for the ball tampering scandal that broke out in Cape Town. But ever since his return to the team after serving a 12-month long ban, Smith has been brilliant. He himself cleared himself of any wrong doing, saying that he was marking his own guard envisioning himself at the crease, while Langer believed the allegations were quite atrocious.

Also Read | 'Sending Pant up was a masterstroke,' Ponting hails Rahane

"Anyone who suggest for one millisecond, he was trying to do something untoward, way out of line. On that wicket, it was that flat, it was like concrete, you need 15 inches spikes to make an intent on the crease and he went nowhere near the crease. Seriously, I thought that was absolutely ludicrous," Langer added.

"In the last couple of years since he (Smith) has been back, he has been exemplary on and off the field, he has let his bat to the talking. He was abused like I have never seen anything through England and he just kept smiling and doing his bat do the talking. Give me a break."

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