Rohit Sharma causally walked up at the crease and started shadow batting as Steve Smith looked at him amusedly on the 4th day of the 4th Test match at Gabba, Brisbane. Australia had set their sights on scoring quick runs in pursuit of a win in the 4th Test to win back the Border-Gavaskar trophy which is currently tied at 1-1. A draw won’t do for Australia as India currently hold the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
Pictures have surfaced on the internet where Indian vice-captain, Rohit Sharma is seen shadow batting in an imaginary stance at the crease.
Shadow practice 🤪 as Smith watches. pic.twitter.com/BjXIgqzGdl
— Cricketopia (@CricketopiaCom) January 18, 2021
Steve Smith vs Rohit Sharma:
Steve Smith who received a lot of flak for taking guard while Indians were batting in the 4th innings at the SCG looked on curiously at what Sharma was trying to do. While Smith had gone to the extent of taking new guard and disrupting Rishabh Pant’s batting guard, Sharma was just innocuously shadow batting at the crease. Smith had started in a breezy fashion and looked in complete control of the proceedings before this incident happened.
Former cricketer and Indian broadcaster, Sanjay Manjrekar opined that “It‘s very important for all those who thought Steve Smith was tampering the pitch and he had some kind of malicious intent, Rohit Sharma has done the exact same thing as Steve Smith did. In fact, there’s a step with the right foot.”
— Sridhar_FlashCric (@SridharBhamidi) January 18, 2021
Steve Smith was labelled a cheat by fans and former players after he marked centre while the Indians were batting. It seemed as if Smith was purportedly removing Pant’s crease mark. However, video clips revealed that the ground staff at SCG had already removed all the crease marks while sweeping the ground. But Smith did receive support from Australia captain Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer though.
Wow….full footage of the scuffing controversy. I mean, I won't even take sides, see it and decide for yourselves if your brain allows you obviously.
Some people on social media really need to grow up !! pic.twitter.com/kOJSpdI6gp
— Don Mateo (@DonMateo_X13) January 12, 2021
Langer’s opinion on Steve Smith’s quirkiness:
Langer had opined ahead of the 4th Test that, “If anyone who knows Steve Smith, he’s a bit quirky and he does some weird (stuff). We’ve all laughed about it… it’s what Steve Smith does at the crease. He does it most games, he’s thinking about batting. Anyone who suggests for one millisecond he was doing anything untoward. They are 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.”
It will be interesting to see how the cricketing world reacts to this Sharma impersonation of Steve Smith. An intriguingly placed Test match has more drama associated with it.