Australia coach Justin Langer said it’s very disappointing to see the harsh criticism on Steve Smith and jumped in the defense of his star batsman and backed his Captain Tim Paine to learn from his errors when the hosts will take on India at the Gabba Brisbane starting January 15.
Tim Paine was fined 15 percent of his match fee for showing dissent at the umpire’s decision following a failed review during the third day of the third Test against India in Sydney. Langer admitted his captain didn’t have a great test match but he’ll lend his 100 % support to Paine.
100% support to Paine
“You have no idea how much faith I’ve got in Tim Paine,” Langer said in a press conference, on Wednesday (January 13). “He didn’t have his best day, no doubt about that, but after three years he has hardly put a hair out of place, he’s been outstanding as the Australian captain in everything he does, and he had a frustrating day. We’ve got to cut him some slack surely. But having said that when you set a standard as high as he does and as we do, we understand we’re going to get criticized when we fall below that. It’s not what we’re about, but Tim Paine, an outstanding leader and will continue to be for some time to come yet. He has my 100% support.”
“I remember a great mate of mine told me a few years ago if you’re going to build a house or a hotel, it takes years to do it, but it takes a couple of hours to rip it all down with a bulldozer,” he said. “So we’ve got to be on top of our game all the time, but also our players are human. In a lot of senses they’re in very different circumstances how they’re living, have been through England, they’ve been through IPL, they’ve been in hubs, all that sort of stuff. But that’s ok, we’ve just got to make sure we’re on top of our game all the time.
“That’s one of the challenges of leadership, that’s one of the challenges of putting yourself out there and talking about culture and how important culture is. You can’t slip, and if you do slip, you get criticised for it, and that’s all ok. But we’ve hopefully had the courage to say ‘no, no, this is what we expect, this is how we’re going to behave’, so when we don’t do it to the standard we expect, we expect to get criticised for it.”
Keeper Paine made quite a few errors with gloves in hand he dropped Pant early in his innings, then in the last session of the Test match he dropped Vihari which marked an over-all bad day for Paine. Langer confessed that his wicketkeeper wasn’t up to the mark in the game but said he’ll come back from this.
“I think he’s been brilliant, the very fact that he missed some catches probably said he was a bit distracted for this Test match and he talked about that yesterday. I thought he batted really well in the second innings, but he’s keeping’s outstanding, he’s one of the great wicketkeepers we’ve ever had in Australia, he works very hard on it, he prides himself on it. I think he’s wicketkeeper really well throughout this summer.
Smith wasn’t doing anything “untoward”
The head coach in support of Australia’s tailsman commented that the media and public from outside have created a nuisance and displayed it in the other way. Langer furiously guarded the number 2 batsman in the world.
“I literally cannot believe some of the rubbish I read about Steve Smith,” he said. “Absolutely load of rubbish. If anyone knows Steve Smith, he’s a bit quirky and he does some weird thing and we’ve all laughed about it for the last couple of years and I’ve spoken about it publicly and privately. What Steve Smith does at the crease, probably most games, he’s thinking about the game. Anyone who suggests for one millisecond he was trying to do something untoward, they’re way out of line, absolutely out of line. That wicket was that flat and it was like concrete.
The stump camera caught the former Australia skipper walking onto the pitch and shadow batting before bizarrely seeming to scuff up the markings on the crease that the batsmen use as a guide for where the stumps are behind them. After this incident, many former cricketers slammed Smith for doing it so. But later it was found that Smith was just visualizing Pant before the start of the session which he often does on the field. The full video was evident of Langer’s statement in proving Smith’s innocence.
Smith will be more “conscious” from next time
“With Stevey, he probably does it every single game or he does it regularly, and someone I guess that’s the joy of social media I suppose, and people out there making a living from having to make comments as commentators. But I am absolutely 100% that there was zero in [what Smith did], but it did remind me a bit of that.”
“I’m sure Smithy will be very conscious of it now. Something that’s been absolutely just a routine and him just being in his own little daydreaming world about batting, he’ll be more aware of it as I was after that. I probably never touched the top of the bail again, it jumped out of my routine. So I guess that will be a little reminder, Stevey will probably be a bit more conscious of it next time”. Langer said before the start of the final Test at Brisbane.
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