Brisbane: Australia head coach Justin Langer has termed allegations in opposition to Steve Smith for wiping out Rishabh Pant’s guard marks in the course of the third drawn Test in opposition to India as ‘absolute load of garbage’. Smith was caught on stump digicam attempting to take away Pant’s guard in the course of the fifth day of the third Test on the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) as Australia tried exhausting to eliminate the left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman who went on the counter-attack. ALSO READ | Bird Flu Crisis: ‘Kadaknath Chicken’ Infection To Hit MS Dhoni’s Farming Dream?
The Pant-led Indian resistance compelled the Australian workforce into some determined acts, together with Smith eradicating guard and skipper Tim Paine indulging in on-field chatter with Ravichandran Ashwin. However, Langer backed each Smith and Paine.
“I literally cannot believe some of the rubbish I read about Steve smith. It’s an 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. 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,” stated Langer whereas chatting with the media throughout a digital interplay on Wednesday morning.
“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,” he added.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon additionally defended Smith and stated he was dissatisfied with the way in which folks have jumped on the latter’s again.
“Obviously we had a chat with him. We are in the bubble together. I see him everyday. But I am really disappointed with the way everyone’s jumped on the back of him. He has played close 80-odd Test matches and he has done that every Test match. To be honest, I have done it every Test match as well. There is nothing wrong with it,” stated Lyon in one other presser.
“Smithy loves batting. We all know that. And even know that though we weren’t batting in the rest of the Test match, he is still thinking about batting. He does that to help me as well. He is looking at where I should look to pitch the ball. What pace I need to bowl on that wicket. It is all about conversation. He is going okay. He has got everyone’s support in the Australian change room. We are really disappointed with everyone coming out and saying things about Smithy because none of it is true,” he added.
Langer added that Smith has ensured that his bat does the speaking ever since he has returned from the ball-tampering scandal.
“Seriously, I thought that was absolutely ludicrous. In the last couple of years since he’s been back, he’s been exemplary on and off the field. He has let his bat do the talking, he was abused like anything in England, but he kept smiling and let his bat do the talking. Give me a break.”
The former Australia opener, who took over from Darren Lehmann as coach after the ball-tampering scandal and has initiated a picture makeover together with Paine, backed the workforce skipper after the wicketkeeper-batsman’s on-field chatter with Ashwin was caught on stump mic and have become a topic of controversy in mainstream media in addition to social media.
“You have no idea how much faith I have got in Tim Paine. He didn’t have his best day, no doubt about that. After three years he has hardly put a hair out of place. He has been outstanding as the Australian captain in everything he does. He had a frustrating day, we’ve got to cut him some slack surely. But having said that, when you set a standard as high as he does and as we do, we understand that we get criticised when we fall below that. But Tim Paine is an outstanding leader and will continue to be for some time to come. So he has my 100 per cent support,” stated Langer.
Lyon, on his half, additionally backed Paine to come back out with an improved efficiency behind the stumps within the fourth and remaining Test.
“I think Painey showed a lot of humility and a great leader to come out after the game and put his hand up and play in the game he wanted to play, so I know playing under Tim Paine, bowling to Tim Paine is exceptional. I absolutely love him to death. He didn’t have the game Australia wanted him to have. He owned that. He will make sure coming to Gabba. His preparation before the Test match started is on key. He got thrown captaincy in hard circumstances and he absolutely owned up. I think he has been brilliant for Australian cricket,” Lyon stated.
“He does provide a lot of banter behind the stumps which is absolutely brilliant in my eyes. He probably got a bit more emotional, but he has owned that. I am expecting him to be no different and be as clinical as he has been behind the stumps. He said after the game that he doesn’t hate anything more than dropping the catch. And for him to drop three catches behind the stumps is unheard of. He will be raring to go 100 per cent in the last Test match and hopefully wrap up the series for Australia…,” he added.
With the collection tied at 1-1, the 2 groups will now face one another within the remaining Test starting Friday at The Gabba.