Watch: Footage posted to Twitter from just before Steve Smith’s controversial actions on the final day at Sydney showed the groundstaff sweeping the wicket and painting the crease, meaning Rishabh Pant would likely have needed to remark his guard after drinks in any case.
The former Australia captain has come in for a torrent of criticism for the incident, in which he took guard as a left-hander – Smith bats right-handed, while Pant is a southpaw – and took a step down the wicket. Some felt Smith’s motive was to force Pant to remark his guard when he took back up his batting position, but, while the Australian is yet to speak publicly about the incident, subsequent footage showed that the Indian would likely have needed to ask the umpire for assistance in any case.
Just before Smith arrived at the wicket, members of the groundstaff, as is standard during a drinks break, swept the wicket and repainted the crease line. While the revelation might not persuade Smith’s critics that he was in the wrong, it adds context to an issue that doesn’t look like going away any time soon.
Watch the footage, unfortunately rotated 90 degrees from landscape, below.
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