Did Steve Smith remove Rishabh Pant’s guard marks? Extended footage gives fresh perspective


Steve Smith did not scuff Rishabh Pant’s guard marks at his crease, some new footage from the final day of the SCG Test has indicated. The new video shows that during the break, after which Smith was seen purportedly removing Pant’s crease mark, ground staff at the SCG had swept the pitch, thus removing all marks.

Smith has been in the eye of a storm for his alleged act, with fans coming down hard on him. He has got support from Australia captain Tim Paine though.

“He was certainly not changing guard, and I’d imagine if he was then the Indian players would have kicked up a bit of a stink at the time. That’s something I have seen Steve do many times in Test matches and Shield games I’ve played with him. When he’s in the field, he likes to walk up to where he bats and visualise how he’s going to play,” Paine had said in an interaction with the media.

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“It’s something I do in games to visualise where we are bowling, how the batter is playing our bowlers, and then out of habit I always mark centre. It’s such a shame that this and other events have taken away from what was a great batting performance by India yesterday,” Smith was quoted as saying to News Corp.

The incident happened after the drinks break in the first session of the final day.

Just before play resumed, the stump cam caught Smith shadow bat on the pitch and scruffing up the batsman’s mark. Pant then walked into the pitch and asked for a fresh guard. The incident was not shown on Australian coverage, with replays being shown instead.