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  5. AUS vs IND: Steve Smith wasn't scuffing off Rishabh Pant's guard, defends Tim Paine

AUS vs IND: Steve Smith wasn't scuffing off Rishabh Pant's guard, defends Tim Paine

Both Tim Paine and Steve Smith were panned by fans and experts alike for their unsportsman-like conduct during Tuesday's drawn Sydney Test.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Updated on: January 12, 2021 9:11 IST
steve smith rishabh pant
Image Source : SCREEN GRAB

Steve Smith scruffs up Rishabh Pant's batting crease, removing his guard mark.

Australian captain Tim Paine might have done an excellent job in restablishing the team after the Sandpapergate fiasco two years ago but the 36-year-old wicket-keeper-batsman was far from his best behaviour during the Monday's drawn Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Australians were visibly frustrated with the way Hanuma Vihari and R Ashwin batted the entire final session ensuring they defend everything sent their way and this eventually got to the Aussies who rolled back years to remind they can get mean with their sledging.

To make things worse, Smith, whose name was dragged through the mud during the Sandpapergate scandal, was caught on the camera wiping off Rishabh Pant's crease mark with his feet after pretending to shadow bat in front of the wicket.

Among the detractors included big names like Virender Sehwag and Michael Vaughan, who took to social media to make their feelings apparent about the incident.

This didn't sit well with crickets fans and experts alike and the behaviour was widely panned after the images of the incident went viral on the social media.

Following rebuke from the Australian media, skipper Paine came forward to apologise for his on-field behaviour while also adding that Steve Smith is quite upset about the unsportsmanlike conduct.

Paine, however, said there was nothing sinister in Smith's behaviour but conceded he would have to review shadow batting at the wicket while in the field.

"Steve's quite upset about it. That's something Steve's done a lot. It's something we always have a laugh about because he just loves batting so much and even when he's out on the field he's shadow batting and marking centre," Paine said during a virtual press conference.

"He actually does it a lot. I'm sure if people are happy to look back at the footage you'll see it happens probably more than once a Test match with Steve.

"There's no way in the world he was trying to change Rishabh Pant's guard or anything like that. It's just one of Smithy's things that he does. Now that it's come up as it has it's something he might have to look at because of the perception of it."

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