On Wednesday, the Australian head coach, Justin Langer comes hard on the critics of Steve Smith, saying everything said about the veteran batsman over the pitch scruffing incident in the Sydney Test is “absolutely ludicrous”. Langer said he has never heard “so much rubbish” in his life, pointing out that Smith would have needed a “15-inch spike” to cause any kind of damage to the Sydney pitch on Day 5 of the drawn Test.
The stump cam footage surfacing on social media shows Steve Smith scrubbing the batsman’s mark at the striker’s end during a break went viral on social media on Day 5 of the SCG Test. Smith was accused of gamesmanship and cheating as Rishabh Pant who returned to the batting crease after the break had to mark his guard again.
As the video was widely shared on social media, several former cricketers, including Virender Sehwag and Michael Vaughan, coming out hard on Smith, who was embroiled in the ball-tampering controversy in 2018.
During a media interaction in Brisbane, Justin Langer said, “Everything said about Steve Smith is absolutely ludicrous … The wicket at the SCG was like concrete, he would’ve needed 15-inch spikes to do what people were accusing him of doing and messing up Pant’s guard. We’ve laughed about how all he thinks about is batting. He was just standing there, thinking about batting. He is 100 percent innocent in this.”
Justin Langer also said he had spoken to Darren Gough and Michael Vaughan who were critical of Steve Smith’s action after the footage became one of the talking points of the Sydney Test.
This is very very poor from Steve smith !! https://t.co/UwUz7zrdzx
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) January 11, 2021
Talking about his chat with Vaughan, Langer said, “I’ve actually spoken to Darren Gough about it and rang him last night. I spoke to Michael Vaughan as well, I thought he was out of line actually. You get it from some, but I don’t expect it from (someone like Vaughan). I know he makes a living out of making those sorts of comments, but I thought he was out of line.”