Watch: A week after Steve Smith was embroiled in a pitch-scuffing controversy, Rohit Sharma was captured on camera shadow batting at the crease in front of the Australia batsman.
Smith was in the eye of a storm after stump camera during the Sydney Test at the crease during drinks in India’s second innings. He was accused by many of scuffing the pitch, even though skipper Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer later insisted that he was just shadow batting at the crease.
“I have spoken to Steve about it,’’ Paine had told reporters last week. “He is really disappointed with the way it has come across.”
“If you watch Steve Smith play Test cricket that is something he does every single game five or six times a day. He does this a lot.”
On day four of the Brisbane Test, just before the lunch break, broadcasters showed a visual of Rohit walking up to the crease after the end of an over, and positioning himself in front of the stumps, even as batsmen Steve Smith and Cameron Green chatted mid-pitch.
As the India players changed ends and took their fielding positions, Rohit shadow practised a stroke just as Smith glanced at him, and then walked away, momentarily looking back at the marks on the crease.
“Between overs, Rohit Sharma was doing that [shadow batting],” Sanjay Manjrekar, the on-air commentator, was heard saying, “and Smith is just keeping a watch. Maybe Rohit Sharma was doing that to tease Steve Smith, or maybe he wasn’t.”
— SportsCafe (@IndiaSportscafe) January 18, 2021
Rohit almost doing a Smith there – sans the guard scruff 😂
— 🏏FlashScore Cricket Commentators (@FlashCric) January 18, 2021
— simon hughes (@theanalyst) January 18, 2021