On Day 5 of the third Test in Sydney, Steve Smith was caught scuffing the crease, with former cricketers suggesting that he did it with an intention to remove Rishabh Pant's guard marks. Even as Tim Paine reiterated that Smith had no such intention, the fans on social media continue to criticise the Australian batsman over his actions.
Justifiably, the question over the incident was raised during a media interaction with India's batting coach Vikram Rathour. The coach, however, downplayed the incident, insisting that the side "didn't even know" about it until after the game.
"Basically, we didn't even know about the incident. We knew only after the game when the media picked it up. As a batsman, Rishabh Pant wasn't even aware. I wouldn't like to comment as it hardly mattered," Rathour said.
Earlier, Justin Langer also defended Smith.
"I have been quite shocked and disappointed by the reaction to this," Smith himself had told the Daily Telegraph. "It’s something I do in games to visualise where we are bowling, how the batter is playing our bowlers and then out of habit I always mark centre."
"I literally cannot believe some of the rubbish I read about Steve Smith. Absolute load of rubbish. If anyone knows Steve Smith - he is a bit quirky, he does some weird stuff. We have all laughed about it for the last couple of years," said Langer while speaking to the media during a virtual interaction.
"I have spoken about it publicly and I have spoken about it privately that he is a bit quirky. What Smith does at the crease, he does at most games.
"Anyone who suggests for one millisecond he was doing anything untoward, they are way out of line. Absolutely out of line. That wicket was so flat... it was like concrete. You need 15 inch spikes to make an indent on the crease."