Aus vs IND: Justin Langer Defends Tim Paine, Steve Smith Amid Criticism Over SCG Conduct
Australia head coach Justin Langer has termed allegations against Steve Smith for wiping out Rishabh Pant's guard marks during the third drawn Test against India as 'an absolute load of rubbish'.
Smith was caught on stump camera trying to remove Pant's guard during the fifth day of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) as Australia tried hard to get rid of the left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman who went on the counter-attack.
The Pant-led Indian resistance forced the Australian team into some desperate acts, including Smith removing guard and skipper Tim Paine indulging in on-field chatter with Ravichandran Ashwin. However, Langer backed both Smith and Paine.
"I literally cannot believe some of the rubbish I read about Steve smith. It's an absolute load of rubbish. If anyone knows Steve Smith - he is a bit quirky, he does some weird stuff. We have all laughed about it for the last couple of years. I have spoken about it publicly and I have spoken about it privately that he is a bit quirky. What Smith does at the crease, he does at most games," said Langer while speaking to the media during a virtual interaction on Wednesday morning.
"Anyone who suggests for one millisecond he was doing anything untoward, they are way out of line. Absolutely out of line. That wicket was so flat...it was like concrete. You need 15-inch spikes to make an indent on the crease," he added.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon also defended Smith and said he was disappointed with the way people have jumped on the latter's back.
"Obviously we had a chat with him. We are in the bubble together. I see him every day. But I am really disappointed with the way everyone's jumped on the back of him. He has played close 80-odd Test matches and he has done that every Test match. To be honest, I have done it every Test match as well. There is nothing wrong with it," said Lyon in another presser.