There has been a lot of outcry over a recent incident where former Australian captain Steve Smith was caught on stump camera while scratching up Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant's guard during the drinks break in the first session of play on Day 5 of the India vs Australia 3rd Test. After the incident came to light, several reactions poured in as fans, as well as, former cricketers slammed Smith for his antics. It is expected that the controversy could linger even in the upcoming Brisbane Test.
However, former Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Rohan Gavaskar reckoned that Indian fans have blown the matter out of proportion. The 44-year old took to Twitter and stated that as a batsman he would look down at his guard before every ball where he needs to take his stance. He added that if for some reason, the guard isn't there, he would mark it again. Gavaskar opined that it isn't a big deal as there are batsmen who take guard every over. In the end, the commentator asked the fans to not let the 'non-issue' take attention away from a fabulous draw.
As a batsman ,I’d look down at my guard mark before every ball to knw where I needed to take my stance . If 4 some reason, it was not there , I’d take guard from th umpire again . Some take guard every over . It’s no big deal . Why let a non issue take away from a fab draw .— Rohan Gavaskar (@rohangava9) January 12, 2021
Rohan Gavaskar's tweet was met with a lot of mixed responses. While some fans agreed with Gavaskar's opinion that the matter was blown out of proportion, others slammed Smith for his antics. Here's how people reacted to the 'Smith cheating India' claims. His comments echo father Sunil Gavaskar's views too, who recently claimed that the much should not be drawn from the issue as it was a harmless act from Smith.
Batsmen (most of them) take fresh guard after each session or a break. This matter is being simply exaggerated.— Subhayan Chakraborty (@CricSubhayan) January 12, 2021
You are bring overly magnanimous. It was unsportsmanlike conduct which should not go unpunished, especially since culprit is a repeat offender!— Ravi Kant Singh (@singhrk61) January 12, 2021
Smith's antics in the past have painted him into a corner. Anything, literally anything he does that is slightly out of line will be scrutinized. Agree with you there though, a non-issue for all that we care. 🙂— SportRadioAS (@SportRadioAS1) January 12, 2021
Thanks for saying it that way. Too much made out of a non issue. Video clearly shows Pant merely confirming his guard, which every batter does after every over or at least after every big break. Interestingly Pant never said anything, the world seem to be boiling for no reason— Sheel Majumdar (HE/HIM) (@SheelMajumdar) January 12, 2021
I agree Sir, but you're talking as a Batsman. Now please tell me how many times even in Ranji match you as a fielder tried to shadow batted right handed & scrubbed off batsman's guard?— Manish Trivedi (@mnsh_79) January 13, 2021
This tell everyone that not only @stevesmith49 but every fielder did this while playing.
The point isn't about the effect of what Smith did. It is the fact that he did it at all. Motive counts. And Smith is the last cricketer whom I'd trust.— Quo Vadimus (@Chetlur) January 13, 2021
Nothing is being taken away from the fab draw.— Nick (@nick_599) January 12, 2021
Issue - batsman had to take guard again from 4th umpire. Many batsman would be annoyed doing that repeatedly.
Smith shouldn't have done that and the fact that it is being termed as one of the Smiths quirks is even more ridiculous.
Totally agree and we as batsman always know where our guard is. People just have to make a huge deal out of everything now a days . Don't think Steve Smith even thought that far lol ...— Abhishek jhunjhunwala (@abhijjw) January 12, 2021
After the 'Steve Smith cheating India' incident was blown out of proportion, Australian captain Tim Paine and Smith himself came forward and issued a clarification over the matter. Australian head coach Justin Langer has defended Smith and termed some of the reaction to 'Steve Smith cheating India' claims as ludicrous and also lauded the premier batsman for the way he has carried himself since returning to the side from the ban imposed on him for the Sandpapergate scandal.
While speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Langer said that he just cannot believe some of the rubbish he reads. According to Langer, anyone who suggests for one millisecond that Smith was trying to do something untoward, they're way out of line. Defending Smith's actions, Langer stated that the SCG wicket was flat just like concrete that you need 15-inch spikes to make an indent on the crease and added that the 31-year old went nowhere near the crease.
Langer further said that the reaction that the incident received was 'rubbish'. The Australian head coach went on to heap praise on Smith saying that in the last couple of years since he's been back, he's been exemplary on and off the field. Langer reiterated that Smith was abused to the limit in England but he just kept avoiding those with smiles and let his bat do the talking.
Meanwhile, the series is still poised at 1-1 with the fourth and final Test to be played from January 15-19. For India vs Australia 4th Test live telecast in India, fans can tune into the Sony Pictures Sports Network (SONY TEN 1, SONY TEN 3 and SONY SIX) at 5:30 AM (IST) on Friday, January 15. For India vs Australia live scores, one can visit the official website and social media pages of the BCCI and Cricket Australia. The live streaming of India vs Australia 4th Test 2021 will be available for fans on the SonyLIV app.
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