Australia head coach Justin Langer slammed the critics of Steve Smith, saying everything said about the batting star over the pitch scuffing incident in the Sydney Test is “absolutely ludicrous”. Smith recently landed in hot water and faced severe criticism from several quarters for the incident that took place during the second session of the thrilling Test that ended in a draw.
The stump camera caught the former Australia skipper walking onto the pitch and shadow batting before bizarrely seeming to scuff up the markings on the crease that the batsmen use as a guide for where the stumps are behind them. After Steve Smith walked out of the crease, Rishabh Pant had to take guard once again.
Smith’s action did not have any impact on the proceedings of the game. However, he has been slammed by the fans as well as several former cricketers including the likes of Virender Sehwag, Darren Gough and Michael Vaughan. Gough called it “plain cheating” while Vaughan declared it “very, very poor from Steve Smith”.
However, Justin Langer is of the opinion that Smith had no bad intention. The Australia coach, in fact, said that he has never heard “so much rubbish” in his life, pointing out that Steve Smith would have needed a “15-inch spike” to cause damage to the Sydney pitch on Day 5 of the drawn Test.
“Everything said about Steve Smith is absolutely ludicrous … The wicket at the SCG was like concrete, he would’ve needed 15-inch spikes to do what people were accusing him of doing and messing up Pant’s guard,” Justin Langer told the press ahead of the 4th Test at Gabba, Brisbane.
“We’ve laughed about how all he thinks about is batting. He was just standing there, thinking about batting. He is 100 percent innocent in this. Give me a break, I’ve never heard so much rubbish in my life,” he added.
Justin Langer also said he had spoken to Darren Gough and Michael Vaughan for their comments on Smith. He said that he did not expect such a comment from Vaughan while also saying that the former England skipper ‘makes a living out of making those sorts of comments’.
“I’ve actually spoken to Darren Gough about it and rang him last night. I spoke to Michael Vaughan as well, I thought he was out of line actually. You get it from some, but I don’t expect it from (someone like Vaughan). I know he makes a living out of making those sorts of comments, but I thought he was out of line,” Langer said.
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