The Australian cricket team received a lot of flak from the Indian fans for resorting to questionable tactics to overcome the resilience of the Indian batsmen on Day 5 of the Sydney Test. An incident involving Steve Smith sparked a major controversy after many labelled him as a 'cheater' for scuffing Rishabh Pant's batting guard after the drinks brink in the first session of the final day. Ex-cricketer Brad Hogg also has been one of the stern critics of Smith's tactics in the match.
Australia's prolific batsman Steve Smith is known to be a quirky character on the field. However, the player was accused of cheating and disrupting Rishabh Pant's rhythm by a certain section of fans. Captain Tim Paine sided with his teammate and explained how the player was just shadow batting on the wicket, which he does very often while fielding. He also refuted the claims that it was a tactical ploy against India's swashbuckling southpaw, who looked to be in scintillating form.
Ex-cricketer Brad Hogg blasted Tim Paine's explanation and shared his perspective on the whole controversy on his Twitter account. The former spinner pointed out how Steve Smith marked his guard while batting with just two quick scratches. Hogg explained how the 31-year-old scuffed the area four times, and that too on different spots while he was fielding.
Start of day 2 he marks guard with two quick scratches, footage with so called shadow batting left handed on day 5 shows scratches 4 times in different spots. It didn't look good. Players should not scratch the area in the batsman's area when fielding. #IndvAus https://t.co/DZwRd6CVF4— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) January 12, 2021
The 49-year-old opined that players should refrain from tampering with the batsman's area while fielding. Steve Smith had to face the wrath of Indian fans after the incident and they accused the player of cheating. Interestingly, this is not the first time that the player has found himself in the soup. The former Australian captain was handed a '12-month' ban from international and domestic cricket by the Australian board after the infamous Sandpapergate scandal.
The third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Sydney Cricket Ground was an eventful one. The home team appeared to be favourites to win after dominating the first half of the contest. However, the Indian batsmen showcased exemplary determination against a formidable bowling attack on a placid wicket to claim a memorable draw. The two teams will next meet for a final showdown in Brisbane on January 15.
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