The independent voice of cricket

Australia v India

‘Absolutely ludicrous’ — Langer hits back at Vaughan over Smith criticism

Vaughan Langer
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Australia head coach Justin Langer has hit back at Michael Vaughan for his criticism of Steve Smith in the ‘Scuffgate’ controversy, calling the claims ‘absolutely ludicrous’ while defending his star batsman.

On the final day of the Sydney Test, Smith was captured on the stump mic seemingly scuffing the crease during India’s second innings, an act that divided opinion on social media.

Many, including Vaughan, had responded to the clip involving Smith on Twitter; Vaughan had quoted Virender Sehwag’s tweet, commenting “This is very very poor from Steve Smith”. Later, extended footage emerged on social media that some felt absolved Smith of the allegations, and Tim Paine defended his No.4 batsman, insisting that he was “only shadow batting”.

Vaughan replied to another tweet by Sky Racing analyst Brad Davidson, saying: “I am afraid it was very Poor Brad … Didn’t say it was cheating just poor when you think back through what he has been through … the proof will be if he does it again if it’s not that bad Brad … #OnOn btw … Tim Paines language was a lot worse …(sic)”

Speaking to SEN Radio on Wednesday, Langer hit back at Vaughan for the criticism, calling his comments “out of line”.

“I spoke to Michael Vaughan as well, I thought he was out of line actually,” Langer said. “You get it from [certain critics], but I don’t expect it from [Vaughan]. I know he makes a living out of making those sorts of comments, but I thought he was out of line.”

“Everything [being said] about Steve Smith is absolutely ludicrous, we have a laugh that he’s a bit quirky and a bit different, he shadow bats in the shower, all he thinks about is batting. He certainly consciously wasn’t trying to do anything wrong.

“He was just standing there thinking about batting.

“He is 100 per cent innocent in this,” Langer continued, echoing Paine’s views. “He didn’t do anything on the pitch. If you know anything about cricket the wicket was like concrete, he would’ve needed 15-inch spikes to make an indent, to do what people were accusing him of doing and trying to mess up Pant’s guard.

“Give me a break. I’ve never heard so much rubbish in my life.”

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99