India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour has revealed that Rishabh Pant wasn’t aware of pitch scuffing by Steve Smith on the fifth day of the Sydney Test. Thus, he has backed from commenting on the controversy, stating that it hardly mattered.
During the drink break, the camera place near the stump showed Smith marking the centre while shadow batting. The video of which went viral and the fans and some cricket expert were quick to blame the Aussie for intentionally scuffing Rishabh Pant’s guard to mislead him.
However, Rathour said that they got aware of Smith’s pitch scuffing’ controversy only after the match ended.
“Basically, we didn’t even know about the incident. We knew only after the game when the media picked it up. As a batsman, Rishabh Pant wasn’t even aware. I wouldn’t like to comment as it hardly mattered,” Rathour said in the press conference ahead of the fourth Test in Brisbane.
Steve Smith have been quite shocked and disappointed by the reaction
Smith had defended his actions in the Test – in which he was Man of the Match – saying he was just doing it out of habit.
“I have been quite shocked and disappointed by the reaction to this,” Smith himself had told the Daily Telegraph. “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.”
Australia‘s Test captain Tim Paine and head coach Justin Langer were also quick to speak for their batsman, stating that it is one of the quirky habits of Steve Smith.
Steve Smith had scored the maiden century in the ongoing series in that match after having struggling batting sessions in the first two Tests.
The final Test match of the series will be played in Brisbane from January 15. The Aussie have not lost a Test match in that venue and they will look to maintain their winning streak in that match.