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Steve Smith's gamesmanship questioned as he scuffs up batting crease

News Agencies | Updated on: 11 January 2021, 12:32 IST

Australia batsman Steve Smith faced severe criticism on social media on Monday after he was seen scuffing up the area around the batting crease on day five of the ongoing Pink Test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

During the first session, the stump cams recorded members of the Australian side coming to the crease. Smith appeared to be using his feet to scuff the marks left by wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. It then forced the batsman to take his guard all over again, reported Fox Sports.

Taking a note of this act, former India batsman Aakash Chopra tweeted: "Shoes can be used for many things. Removing an opponent's batting guard mark too ... Not for taking sharp catches though."

At the tea interval, India's score read 280/5 in pursuit of 407. In the second session, 74 runs were scored from 26 overs.

Resuming the second session on the final day at 206/3, Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara stuck to their individual approaches of scoring runs, and mixed caution with aggression to keep the scoreboard moving. However, Australia came back strongly as they got the crucial wicket of Pant (97) with India still 157 runs away from the target. Pant was sent back to the pavilion by Nathan Lyon, reducing India to 250/4.

With the second new ball, Josh Hazlewood provided yet another big breakthrough as he cleaned up Pujara (77) and India's hopes of surviving the final day took a hit. Vihari then pulled his hamstring and as a result, he was unable to run quickly between the wickets.

In the end, Vihari and Ashwin ensured that the hosts did not lose any more wickets before the tea interval. Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane (4) departed early in the first session but Pant and Pujara ensured that India showed a fight and kept hopes alive on the final day. At the lunch break, India's score read 206/3, with 201 runs needed to win the match.


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First published: 11 January 2021, 12:32 IST