The third Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) ended in an entertaining draw with India defying odds to bat out the final day. Legends and fans hailed the clash as a brilliant advertisement of Test cricket but former Australia captain and man of the match Steve Smith ended up being the villain for trying to unsettle Rishabh Pant, in a bizarre manner.
Chasing a target of 407 runs, India needed the brilliance of Rishabh Pant, and of course Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari to force the Aussies to shake the hands with still over left in the play. Pant, who missed a hundred by three runs, was at his ominous best and kept the Indian hopes for a win alive.
His 148-runs stand for the fourth wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara all but deflated the Aussies. And the hosts were seen employing tactics to disturb Pant with constant chatter. But the worst came when Smith tried to scrub the batting mark of Pant during a break.
And he was caught in the act, thanks to his jersey number 49.
Smith, who served a year-long ban for his role in the infamous sandpaper gate in South Africa, first tried shadow-batting as a left-handed batsman, then vigorously used his spikes to remove Pant's guard mark.
Watch it here:
The act may seem an innocuous one, but it sure reeks of "cheating" as many Indian fans angrily pointed out. Evidently enough, Pant was forced to take the guard once again.
Check some of the reactions from Indian fans.
Once a cheaterðÂÂÂÂ¡ðÂÂÂÂ¡ðÂÂÂÂ¡
Will always be a cheater
Shame On You @stevesmith49January 11, 2021
I feel guilty For Supporting you on your bad time.. You will Always remain a cheater..
Moreover your hole #Australia Team is Cheater and abusersðÂÂÂÂ¡#AUSvIND #SteveSmith #pant
After the SCG draw, the four-match series will be decided in Brisbane, starting January 15.