Australia coach Justin Langer has hit back at former England skipper Michael Vaughan’s comments on the Steve Smith incident in the Sydney Test against India.
Smith caused divided opinion in the cricketing world when he was seen scuffing the crease of Rishabh Pant during a drinks break in the final day’s play on Monday.
The incident sparked controversy with many former cricketers, including Vaughan, weighing in on Smith’s actions.
Vaughan took to Twitter at the time, saying it was ‘very, very poor from Steve Smith’. On Wednesday, he again expressed his thoughts on the platform by stating it was ‘a silly thing for him to be doing’.
This is very very poor from Steve smith !! https://t.co/UwUz7zrdzx
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) January 11, 2021
But, like captain Tim Paine, Langer defended Smith’s intentions, saying Vaughan’s criticism and comments were ‘out of line’.
‘I spoke to Michael Vaughan as well, I thought he was out of line actually,’ Langer said told SEN radio on Wednesday.
‘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.’
The Steve Smith incident has caused great debate … I saw it as a silly thing for him to be doing but i didn’t have it as cheating …the laws are above … #OnOn … What do we all think ?? @ Wilmslow https://t.co/TCMud0cxPU
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) January 12, 2021
The Australian coach continued, echoing Paine’s sentiments on Tuesday, by saying the situation was blown completely out of proportion and that Smith didn’t do anything wrong.
‘I literally cannot believe some of the rubbish I read. Anyone who suggests for one millisecond he was trying to do something untoward, they’re way out of line, absolutely out of line.
‘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,’ he added.
The fourth and deciding Test match between Australia and India will get under way on Friday at the Gabba in Brisbane.