The Australian team, who is renowned for its fierce attitude and competitive nature, can go to any extent to win a game and the same was displayed by them on Day 5 of the India vs Australia 3rd Test. The hosts seemed to get desperate in their quest to secure a win at the SCG which is why it is believed by many that former Australian captain Steve Smith resorted to a cheap tactic.
On Monday, Smith was caught on stump camera while intentionally scratching up Indian wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant's guard during the drinks break in the first session. The southpaw was taking Australian bowlers to the cleaners and was successfully able to pile the pressure back on them which is why the Australian tried to distract the Indian stumper. Pant had to mark his guard all over again after resuming batting post the drinks break.
The video of the same went viral on social media in no time. Twitterati was left fuming after Smith used what is widely being considered as a cheap trick to put off Pant. Several reactions poured in as fans slammed the Australian team and their negative tactics. A certain sections of fans also drew comparisons with the infamous 'Sandpapergate scandal' in which Smith was banned from all forms of cricket for a year while also being banished from captaincy. Here's a look at a few reactions.
@TimDavis200 this is what i am talking about australia has history of cheating . They can do anything for win media , people , sandpapers , sledging, banter__________ and fill the blank if anything left 😂😂😂😂— Yashramanuj 🇮🇳 (@yashramanuj_1) January 11, 2021
Cheating is in their DNA 😂— Arpan (@Arpanxd) January 11, 2021
These Cheaters won't never change. Such a Shame.— Awarapan 🇮🇳 (@KingSlayer_Rule) January 11, 2021
all class this Aussie side lol, almost as bad as their comm box and crowd— fundy (@imfundy) January 11, 2021
@stevesmith49 is this all u got Smithy ?? Wanna get back to playing Saturday’s on Glenn Mc Grath ???...— Gaurav Desai (@gaurav712) January 11, 2021
I still think u r a top batsman ...
but in terms of Spirit and learning from mistakes ... long way.. u got lost in the middle again son ... disappointed .. no respect left
They thought we wouldn’t see it because the Aussie channel was showing some analysis, but us American viewers for some reason dont get the fox cricket analysis nonsense and so we get a shitty stumps cam view & saw this right away— Mayank (@mank06) January 11, 2021
Meanwhile, Pant was unfazed by Smith's cheap tactics as he continued with his brilliant strokeplay. The dynamic batsman ended up scoring a scintillating 97 and helped India put pressure back on Australia. Pant was just three runs away from a stunning century and that's when he decided to reach the landmark with a big shot which brought about his downfall for 97. The Rishabh Pant 97 knock was laced with twelve fours and three towering sixes.
Meanwhile, after Pant departed for a well-made 97, all eyes were on Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari who had around 45 overs to survive. However, Pujara was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood for 77, leaving two new batsmen at the crease in the form of Vihari and R Ashwin. At the time of publishing this article, India's scoreboard read 281/5 after 97.4 overs. Vihari is batting on 4 whereas Ashwin is unbeaten on 8. India need another 126 runs to win in 34 overs whereas Australia need five wickets to take the lead in the series.
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