India vs Australia: ‘Out of habit I always mark centre,’ Steve Smith says over scuffing scandal

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Steve Smith (left) scuffing the crease incident (right).

Steve Smith has faced the heat of criticisms following his poor sportsmanship act on Day 5 of the third Test match in Sydney.

In a video shared on social media from the stump camera, Smith was seen scrubbing the crease during a break when Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara were batting out in the middle. Australia were desperately searching for a breakthrough as Pant was going after the bowling attack in India’s chase of 407.

Even though almost all former Australian players have called Smith’s act as disgraceful, his teammates and coach are still justifying his act.

Talking about his act, Smith said, “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,” Smith told News Corp while adding he was “shocked and disappointed”.

“It’s such a shame that this and other events have taken away from what was a great batting performance by India yesterday.”

Skipper Tim Paine had defended Smith, saying he was merely shadow batting during the break.

“If you’ve watched Steve Smith play Test cricket, that’s something that he does every single game five or six times a day,” Paine told reporters while apologising for his conduct on Monday.

“He’s always standing in the batting crease shadow batting. As we know, he’s got those many Steve Smith quirks and one of those is he’s always marking centre. He was certainly not changing (Pant’s) guard and if he was that’s something that the Indians would have kicked up a bit stink about at the time.”

This is not the first time Steve Smith has engaged in such poor act on-the-field. He has earlier engaged in Brainfade scam in India, and Sandpaper scam in South Africa.

Also read: India vs Australia: ‘You have no idea how much faith I got in him’ – Justin Langer defends ‘outstanding leader’ Tim Paine after row over SCG conduct

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