Langer calls Smith criticisms ‘rubbish’
Australia coach Justin Langer has termed criticisms Steve Smith is receiving for his recent scuffing incident as “rubbish”, insisting that the 31-year-old batsman is “a bit quirky” and “does some weird things”.
Smith was captured scuffing the crease by cameras on the final day of the Sydney Test, and such actions were slammed by retired international stars Michael Vaughan, Darren Gough and Virender Sehwag.
The popular belief circulating on social media was that Smith’s scratching was an effort to remove the guard of Rishabh Pant.
However, Langer does not think so, and has come up to defend the premier batsman of his side.
“I literally cannot believe some of the rubbish I read about Steve Smith,” he said. “Absolute load of rubbish; if anyone knows Steve Smith, he’s a bit quirky and he does some weird things and we’ve all laughed about it for the last couple of years.
“Anyone who suggests for one millisecond he was trying to do something untoward, they’re way out of line, absolutely out of line. That wicket was that flat and it was like concrete; you need 15-inch spikes to make an indent on the crease … seriously,” Langer added.
Meanwhile Smith’s teammate Nathan Lyon has also come up to his defence,
Nathan Lyon also came to his defence, saying that Smith did not do anything exception from what he had so far done in every single Test match of his career.
“I’m really disappointed with the way that everyone has jumped on the back of him; he’s played close to 80-odd Test matches and I think he’s done that in every Test match he’s ever played,” Lyon said.
Earlier Australia captain Tim Paine also defended Smith, who was stripped of the Australian captaincy and banned for a year in 2018 for his part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.
“He’s really disappointed with the way it comes across,” Paine told reporters on Tuesday. “He’s always marking centre — he was not changing (Pant’s) guard. That’s something I’ve seen Steve do that many times.”