Langer defends ‘100% innocent’ Smith

Smith, who scored 131 within the first innings of the third Test in opposition to India, is joint sixth on Australia’s all-time checklist of centurions

Australia head coach Justin Langer has defended Steve Smith after recommendations the batsman intentionally scuffed up the crease throughout the ultimate day of the drawn third Test in opposition to India.

Smith denied accusations that he was attempting eradicating the marks used to information India’s batsmen on the crease.

“He’s 100% innocent,” Langer informed BBC World Service’s Stumped podcast.

“He was just standing on the crease in his own little world, his own little Steve Smith world.”

India batted out the ultimate day in Sydney, guaranteeing the collection remained degree at 1-1 going into the ultimate Test in Brisbane on Friday.

‘I’ve by no means heard a lot garbage in my life’

Steve Smith
India misplaced solely three wickets on the ultimate day because the vacationers earned a memorable draw

Smith gave the impression to be shadow batting on the crease throughout a drinks break in India’s fourth innings throughout the Test.

“We’ve joked about it for the last couple of years how he’s a bit different and a bit weird with what he does with his batting stuff,” Langer mentioned.

“He shadow bats whether he’s in the shower or in the bedroom, he does it all the time.

“On that wicket we simply performed on, you’d want 15 inch spikes to even put a bit mark on the crease.

“You could have had a knife or sledgehammer to try and make marks and it couldn’t have happened, the wicket was like concrete.”

Smith, who was banned from taking part in and sacked as captain in 2018 following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, was closely criticised on social media for the incident.

“Some of the comments saying he was out on the wicket scratching the wicket for the spinners, give me a break, I’ve never heard so much rubbish in my life,” Langer mentioned.

“This kid had a year’s suspension from the game, he’s come back and for people to pour on him again for something as innocent as this, my gosh, I feel for him.”

‘Gough and Vaughan have been out of line’

Langer additionally informed Australia’s SEN radio station he has spoken to former England internationals Michael Vaughan and Darren Gough about their feedback on the incident.

Vaughan described it as “very, very poor” on social media, whereas Gough informed TalkSport it was “plain cheating”.

“I’ve spoken to Darren Gough, I also spoke to Michael Vaughan,” Langer mentioned.

“I thought it was out of line for an ex-player [Gough] to say what he said.

“I do know he makes a residing from making a few of these feedback however I assumed he was out of line”.

‘Paine hardly stepped a hair out of line in three years’

Australia captain Tim Paine (left) speaks to India's Ravichandran Ashwin (centre) during day five of the third Test in Sydney
There have been a number of pointed exchanges between Paine and Ashwin on day 5

Langer also defended Tim Paine after the captain was involved in a sledging incident with India’s Ravichandran Ashwin.

Paine, who dropped three catches in the innings, apologised for his behaviour after he was heard on the stump microphone using an expletive to insult Ashwin.

“He’s an impressive chief and individual and the very best wicketkeeper on the earth who had a nasty day,” Langer mentioned.

Paine was also fined 15% of his match fee after also showing dissent to an umpire on day three.

He took the Australia captaincy after Smith’s sacking and has led the charge in improving the team’s culture since the ball-tampering scandal.

“I’d prefer to assume Tim has a couple of credit within the financial institution, he is hardly stepped a hair misplaced within the final three years,” Langer mentioned.

When asked if Paine will captain in Australia in their home Ashes series against England, which starts in November, Langer replied “sure, 100%”.

‘Paine was in a huddle with India staff’

Tim Paine and Ravichandran Ashwin
Paine says he apologised to Ashwin for the insult after play

The third Test was also marred with claims of racism after allegations the India players were subjected to abuse by spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

India made an official complaint after day three on Saturday that bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj had received racist abuse.

And on Sunday, play was halted for 10 minutes after more alleged abuse.

Langer condemned the reported abuse and praised the response from his captain.

“One of my pet hates in life is somebody pays their cash to return to a sporting occasion and feels it is OK to abuse somebody,” he mentioned.

“People know the distinction between proper and unsuitable, certainly?

“And the same person who everyone is now jumping on, Tim Paine, was out in the middle standing in the team huddle with India.

“He went over and was going to speak to the Australian public.”

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