Australia coach Justin Langer defended Steve Smith after the striker was accused of deliberately digging the furrow on the final day of the third Test match against India.
Smith denied allegations that he tried to remove the markers that led the Indian drummers to the crease.
He was 100% innocent, Langer told the World Service podcast.
He was just in the depths of his own little world, the little world of Steve Smith.
India struck on the final day in Sydney to keep the series at 1-1 before the final test in Brisbane on Friday.
I have never heard so much nonsense in my life.
India lost only three tickets on the final day as tourists played a memorable draw.
During the alcoholic break of the fourth Indian Test round, Smith found himself in the shadow of a batsman in the crease.
We’ve joked over the years that he’s a little different and a little strange in what he does with his baseball stuff, Langer said.
He observes, both in the shower and in the bedroom, he does it all the time.
On the wicket we have just played, it takes 15 kicks to score even a little bit of the trick.
You could have taken a knife or a sledgehammer to try and make the marks and it wouldn’t have happened, the counter was like concrete.
Smith, who was suspended for one match and sacked as captain after the ball scandal in South Africa in 2018, has been heavily criticised on social media for the incident.
According to Langer, some of the comments about standing on the counter, scratching the counter for spinners, giving a break, I’ve never heard so much nonsense in my life.
This guy was suspended for a year, he’s back and people are still jumping all over him for something so innocent, God I feel for him.
Gough and Vaughan crossed line
Langer also told Australian radio station SEN that he had spoken to former England internationals Michael Vaughan and Darren Gough about their comments on the incident.
Vaughan described it on social media as very, very bad, while Gough said in an interview with TalkSport that it was just a scam.
I’ve talked to Darren Gough, I’ve talked to Michael Vaughan as well, Langer said.
I thought it was too much for a former player [Gough] to say what he said.
I know he makes his living with comments like that, but I didn’t think he was there.
Payne has barely crossed the line in three years
Several meetings took place between Paine and Ashwin during the fifth day.
Langer also defended Tim Paine after the captain was involved in an incident with India’s Ravichandran Ashwin on the sled.
Payne, who dropped three strokes in that round, apologized for his behavior after using a swear word at the microphone to insult Ashwin.
He’s a leader and an exceptional man and the best goalie in the world who had a bad day, Langer said.
Payne was also fined 15% of his match fee after he also disagreed with the referee on the third day.
After Smith’s dismissal, he took over as Australia coach and led efforts to improve the team’s culture following the ball scandal.
I think Tim has some credit in the bank, he’s barely crossed the line in the last three years, Langer said.
Asked if Paine will be Australia’s captain in the Asens’ home series against England from November, Langer replied: Yes, 100%.
Payne was in the crosshairs of the Indian teamPayne was in the crosshairs of the Indian team
Paine says he apologised to Ashwin after the match for the insult.
The third Test was also clouded by allegations of racism after Indian players were mistreated by spectators at the Sydney cricket ground.
After the third day on Saturday, India filed an official complaint that bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj have been subjected to racial harassment.
And on Sunday the game was suspended for 10 minutes after further alleged rioting.
Langer condemned the abuse report and praised his captain’s response.
One of my pets hates it when someone pays to come to a sporting event and thinks it’s okay to insult someone, he says.
People know the difference between right and wrong, don’t they?
And the same guy everyone is throwing at now, Tim Paine, stood in the middle of the team and hugged India.
He came to address the Australian audience.