Steve Smith is not new to controversies and the Australia star could find himself in a big controversy once again for allegedly trying to remove Rishabh Pant’s guard mark on day five of the ongoing Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Steve Smith is absolutely no strangers to coming up with such tactics on the field.
In 2017, India skipper Virat Kohli had stopped just short of calling him a cheat after the former Australia captain tried to take help from the dressing room while going for a DRS review during the Bengaluru Test. The Indian players had caught him red-handed and had complained it to the umpire. Following the incident, Virat Kohli had lashed out at him in the press-conference.
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A year later, Steve Smith got involved in a bigger controversy through the sandpaper gate. Following the controversy, the right-handed batsman and his teammate David Warner were banned for a year by Cricket Australia. And while Steve Smith would definitely not face such a sanction for his latest act, he is likely to be slammed by the cricket fraternity for the same.
The incident took place after a drinks break in the second session of the fifth day. Soon after the break, he went to the crease for shadow-batting before proceeding to remove Rishabh Pant’s guard mark. Pant, however, made sure to mark his guard again after the drinks break.
Tourist show defiance in incredible draw
India showed incredible defiance to bat out the final day in a memorable draw with Australia in the third Test and take a thrilling series into a decider.
The tourists resumed on 98-2, chasing an unlikely 407 to win, and lost captain Ajinkya Rahane early on.
Rishabh Pant countered with a sublime 97 and Cheteshwar Pujara dug in for 77 during an absorbing second session in which it seemed India could even pull off the third highest fourth-innings chase in Test history.
But after both fell before tea to leave Australia needing five wickets in the final session, Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin battled superbly to survive 256 balls to steer India to 334-5 at the close.
Vihari’s unbeaten 23 off 161 balls was even more impressive given he batted for most of his innings with a hamstring injury, while Ashwin made 39 off 128 deliveries.
Australia captain Tim Paine dropped three catches behind the stumps, while his vaunted fast bowlers and off-spinner Nathan Lyon toiled.
The series remains level at 1-1 heading into the fourth and final Test in Brisbane starting on 15 January.
India need only a draw to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, while Australia will look to secure victory on a ground where they have not lost a Test since 1988.