Sydney: Australia batsman Steve Smith was on Monday caught on camera removing Rishabh Pant's guard marks on the crease on day five of the ongoing Test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
During the first session, the stump cams recorded members of the Australian side coming to the crease. Smith appeared to be using his feet to scuff the marks left by wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. It then forced the batsman to take his guard all over again, reported Fox Sports.
Smith faced severe criticism on social media for his unsportsmanship-like behaviour.
Taking a note of this act, former India batsman Aakash Chopra tweeted: "Shoes can be used for many things. Removing an opponent's batting guard mark too ... Not for taking sharp catches though." At the tea interval, India's score read 280/5 in pursuit of 407. In the second session, 74 runs were scored from 26 overs.
Resuming the second session on the final day at 206/3, Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara stuck to their individual approaches of scoring runs, and mixed caution with aggression to keep the scoreboard moving. However, Australia came back strongly as they got the crucial wicket of Pant (97) with India still 157 runs away from the target. Pant was sent back to the pavilion by Nathan Lyon, reducing India to 250/4.
With the second new ball, Josh Hazlewood provided yet another big breakthrough as he cleaned up Pujara (77) and India's hopes of surviving the final day took a hit. Vihari then pulled his hamstring and as a result, he was unable to run quickly between the wickets.
In the end, Vihari and Ashwin ensured that the hosts did not lose any more wickets. The two batsmen together played over 40 overs to deny Australia a win.
Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane (4) departed early in the first session but Pant and Pujara ensured that India showed a fight and kept hopes alive on the final day. At the lunch break, India's score read 206/3, with 201 runs needed to win the match.
(With ANI inputs)