Steve Smith, the Australian batsman, came under the scanner in the Sydney Test despite bagging the Man of the Match award. The 31-year-old was severely criticised by the commoners as well as the experts for scuffing up the pitch during India’s second innings. In a video, Smith was seen shadow-batting at the striker’s end after which Rishabh Pant had to mark his guard again.
Smith, however, is utterly disappointed by the talks around him. The New South Wales-born stated that ‘marking the crease’ is something that he does on a regular basis and the issue has been blown out of proportion. He also lauded Team India for their resilience in the final day’s play.
Steve Smith opens up
“It’s something I do in games to visualise where we are bowling, how the batter is playing our bowlers, and then out of habit I always mark centre. It’s such a shame that this and other events have taken away from what was a great batting performance by India yesterday,” Smith was quoted as saying to News Corp.
Earlier, Tim Paine, the Australian skipper, had Smith’s back, saying that the latter has marked creases plenty of times both at the international and domestic level. Paine also said how Smith was upset with the backlash.
“If you’ve watched Steve Smith play Test cricket, that’s something he does every single game five or six times a day. He’s always standing in the batting crease, shadow batting. As we know, he’s got those many Steve Smith quirks, and one of those is he’s always marking centre,” Paine had told.
From the cricketing viewpoint, Smith had a Test match to remember. He was deemed out of form after he couldn’t cross the double digits in the Adelaide and Melbourne Tests. However, at the SCG, where he has grown up playing cricket, Smith showed what he is capable of.
In the first innings, he managed 131 runs before Ravindra Jadeja ran him out at the striker’s end. His knock was laced with 16 fours. In the second innings, he smashed 81 runs with eight fours and one six before falling prey to Ravi Ashwin for the third time in the series.