Australian batting talisman Steve Smith had found himself in the eye of a storm after stump cam footage from the fifth day of the SCG Test caught him scuffing up the batting guard marks made by India’s Rishabh Pant during a drinks’ break.
Both fans and experts bashed Smith on social media for his alleged inappropriate behavior on the ground, as Pant was seen taking fresh guard after Smith left after shadow batting and marking his guard with spikes. The incident happened after the drinks break in the first session of the final day.
He did find support in captain Tim Paine and even coach Justin Langer defended him, saying "As for Steve Smith, I literally cannot believe some of the rubbish I've read — absolute load of rubbish.I mean, anyone who knows Steve Smith, he is a bit quirky... and we have all laughed about it for the last couple of years.
What Steve Smith does at the crease he does it probably most games, he's just thinking about the game. Anyone who suggests for one millisecond he was trying to do something untoward, they're way out of line.
On that wicket, that was that flat, and it was like concrete, you'd need 15-inch spikes to make an indent on the crease and he went nowhere near the crease," Langer added.
Now extended footage of the stump cam has surfaced with a user on Twitter sharing a clip which shows that before Smith allegedly scuffed up Pant’s batting guard, the ground staff had come and swept off any marks anyway in order to paint the crease again.
After that Smith comes and does his shadow batting and marking his crease and then Pant comes to the crease to resume his batting and take fresh guard from the umpire.
Here is the footage: