Australian captain Tim Paine on Tuesday defended batsman Steve Smith, who was blamed for scraping/scuffing up the guard mark of Rishabh Pant during the drawn third Test here, stating that the Indian group would have raked up the issue if any wrong was submitted.

Rishabh Pant made a tornado 97 to offer India a chance at dominating the game in the quest for 407 however it finished in a draw.

Steve Smith

Steven Peter Devereux Smith is an Australian international cricketer and former captain of the Australian national team. Smith is consistently rated as one of the top-ranked Test batsmen in the world, according to the ICC Player Rankings. The batsman has been called the “best since Bradman” due to his distinctively high Test batting average. In domestic cricket, he plays for New South Wales. Although, he was initially selected for Australia as a right-arm leg spinner, later played primarily as a batsman. After a couple of matches in 2010 and 2011, he was a standard part in the Australian group after 2013 and took over the captaincy from Michael Clarke in late 2015, after which he prevalently batted at number 3 or 4. He has won Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy (ICC Cricketer of the Year) in 2015; ICC Test Player of the Year in 2015, 2017; ICC Men’s Test Player of the Decade: 2011–2020; the Allan Border Medal for the best part in Australian Cricket in 2015, 2018; Australian Test Player of the Year: 2015, 2018 and Australian One Day International Player of the Year: 2015. He was named by Wisden as one of their Cricketers of the Year for 2015. In 2014, Martin Crowe portrayed Smith as one of the youthful Fab Four of Test cricket alongside Joe Root, Kane Williamson, and Virat Kohli. On 30 December 2017, he arrived at a Test batting rating of 947, the second-most elevated ever, just behind Don Bradman’s 961.

Ball-Tampering 2018

In March 2018, Smith was widely criticized for ball-tampering in the third Test against South Africa, during which he stood down from the team captaincy and was replaced by Tim Paine. Following an investigation by Cricket Australia, Steve Smith was banned from all international and domestic cricket in Australia for one year starting from 29 March 2018, and from consideration for any leadership role for an additional year.

Steve Smith Scuffing 2021

With a defensive approach during a virtual press conference fellow Australian cricketer, Paine said,“I have spoken to Steve about this and I know he is really disappointed with the way it has come across. And if you watch Steve Smith play Test cricket, that is something that he does every single game five or six times a day.” He further said, “He is always standing in the batting crease, shadow batting, as we know he has got those sort of many Steve Smith quirks, so one of them is he is always marking sand.” Paine said that had Smith changed the guard marks, the Indian team would have taken up the issue.

“He (Smith) was certainly not changing guard and imagine if he was, then the Indian players would have kicked up a bit of stink (at) that time,” he said.

“But that is something I have seen Steve doing many times in Test matches and Shield games that I have played with him, when he is in the field, he likes to sort of walk up to where he bats and visualize how is he going to play,” Paine elaborated that given how this has been perceived, especially by cricket fans, there would be reconsideration.

Steve Smith was also awarded the ICC Awards Men’s Test Cricketer of the Decade.

Frenzy Indian Fans on Twitter

Fans and followers have been frenzy over social media after the controversy surfaced.

Some posts are funny and we enjoyed them thoroughly!

Former India opening batsman Virender Sehwag also shared the damning footage on social media, accompanied with the caption: “Tried all tricks including Steve Smith trying to remove Pant’s batting guard marks from the crease.”But I am so so proud of the effort of the Indian team today,” he added.

Indian player Virat Kohli and Steve Smith are always in a neck-to-neck competition when it comes to Test cricket performances and we have seen how exaggeration is a thing for the Indian team and media as well as Steve has a title under his belt now. And for Steve Smith, either it’s cheating or scuffing it is a poor form of playing cricket considering his recently awarded title by the ICC.