Jan 11 (Reuters) – Australia’s Steve Smith has had his sportsmanship called into question once again after he allegedly scuffed Indian batsman Rishabh Pant’s guard at the crease during the drawn third test in Sydney on Monday.
Smith was seen using his shoes to scratch the guard marks made by batsmen when they take strike, forcing Pant to remark his guard. The video clip from the stump camera went viral on social media.
Smith was banned for 12 months for his part in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in Cape Town in 2018 and was also stripped of the captaincy in the fallout.
Former Indian batsman Virender Sehwag was among the first to criticise the former Australian skipper.
“Tried all tricks including Steve Smith trying to remove Pant’s batting guard marks from the crease,” Sehwag wrote on Twitter https://twitter.com/virendersehwag/status/1348528230655950850. “But nothing worked… I am so, so proud of the effort of the Indian team today.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan said it was “very, very poor from Steve Smith” while former player and commentator David Lloyd called his behaviour “childish”.
Former bowler Darren Gough said he found Smith’s behaviour “shocking”.
“Does he think he’s invisible with all those cameras,” he said on Twitter.
Cricket Australia could not be reached for comment when contacted by Reuters.
Pant’s heroic knock of 97 set the platform for India to save the test after being set a daunting target of 407 to win, with Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin thwarting Australia’s attack over the last three hours to secure a draw. (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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