Steve Smith has been Australia's go-to guy and led from the front in England this summer. From getting booed as he arrived to standing ovations as he left Manchester following the fourth Test, Smith has redefined batting during this year's Ashes.
The former Australia captain, who returned to the Test fold after a gap of over one year, has smashed over 650 runs in five innings as Australia retained the Ashes following their victory at Old Trafford.
However, the celebrations that followed, got him some heat courtesy of a photo that was clicked by Getty Images' correspondent Ryan Pierse.
The photo showed Smith wearing a spectacle and celebrating with teammate Nathan Lyon and other Australian teammates and singing "Who did we beat? England. How did we do it? Easy," and adapted the popular Barmy Army chant of "Same old Aussies, always cheating" by singing "Same old Painey, always winning" about skipper Tim Paine, who became the first Aussie skipper after Steve Waugh in 2001 to win an Ashes series in England.
Smith also shadow batted left-handed as his teammates laughed. His actions angered the English media and was termed "classless" and "arrogant" as the widespread belief was that Smudge was imitating Jack Leach, who attained cult status following the Headingley win, where he scored just one run and kept wiping his glasses during the course of the innings.
Feel pity. You can't buy class.— Mark Jordan (@MarkSJordan) September 8, 2019
They couldnt go a whole tour without reverting to type. Classless cheats.— Nick Vale (@Nickva) September 9, 2019
Jack Leach mimicked his 1* when England won a classic.— Tom Albrighton (@tmalbrghtn) September 8, 2019
Steve Smith, a cheat, celebrated by openly mocking a fellow professional.
Some people are just classier than others. https://t.co/rFuy1JYfTH
Leach also dismissed Smith on 85 in the fourth Test but it was off a no-ball before Smith went on to score a double century and secure Australia victory.
Therefore, it added more context but the air was cleared in the end by Getty's Pierse himself, the man behind the photo.
"Bit of chat in the UK and Australian press this morning that Steve Smith was mocking Jack Leach last night. The fact is Steve donned some glasses as a nod to the great Chris ‘Bucky’ Rogers. Uncanny resemblance wouldn’t you say," Pierse tweeted.
Bit of chat in the UK and Australian press this morning that Steve Smith was mocking Jack Leach last night. The fact is Steve donned some glasses as a nod to the great Chris ‘Bucky’ Rogers. Uncanny resemblance wouldn’t you say! 🤓🏺🇦🇺 @gettysport @stevesmith49 #Ashes19 pic.twitter.com/pDtlsGBY9A— Ryan Pierse (@RyanPierse) September 9, 2019
Therefore, Smith's celebrations actually were not for Leach and the whole idea of him mocking Leach remains a misunderstanding.
Smith will again be seen in action in the last Test at The Oval, starting Thursday.