Team India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour has finally broken his silence on the recent controversy that erupted during day 5 of the third test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground when Steve Smith allegedly scuffed the guard marks of Rishabh Pant.
Steve Smith has been receiving the heat of fans and cricketers after a video of him allegedly scuffing up the guard marks during the drinks break went viral on social media.
Tried all tricks including Steve Smith trying to remove Pant's batting guard marks from the crease. Par kuch kaam na aaya. Khaaya peeya kuch nahi, glass toda barana.
But I am so so proud of the effort of the Indian team today. Seena chonda ho gaya yaar. pic.twitter.com/IfttxRXHeM
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 11, 2021
The controversial incident took place after drinks break in the second session of the fifth day. After the break, Smith went to the crease for shadow-batting before proceeding to remove the guard mark of Rishabh Pant. However, his tactics went in vain as Rishabh Pant gave a stunning performance and scored 97 off 118 balls, with the help of 12 fours and 3 sixes.
Now, in the pre-match video conference, Vikram Rathour stated that no one among the Indian team, including Rishabh Pant himself had any clue about the incident involving Steve Smith. He revealed:
“Basically we didn’t even know about that (Steve Smith) incident. Only after the game and after the media picked it up, we noticed. As a batsman, Rishabh wasn’t even aware actually. So I won’t point it out because as a batsman he was not even aware that it was done,”
Vikram Rathour also praised the performance of Steve Smith, who scored 131 and 81 respectively in both innings. He was successful in dominating over R Ashwin, who had become his nemesis. Talking about Smith’s performance, Vikram said:
“We all know he (Steve Smith) is a good player. Our bowlers have been working on specific plans against him and against all the other batters of the Australian cricket team. So they have worked so far,”
Furthermore, Vikram Rathour stressed the fact that the team management was still backing the plans they have put in place for Smith. He said:
“In the last game, he scored some runs yes, but we still back our plans. Whatever the bowlers have been discussing among themselves, we will still back those plans and hope we will get him out in this game (cheaply).”