Australian coach Justin Langer gave under-fire skipper Tim Paine his “100 percent” support and slammed Steve Smith as “absolute hogwash” on Wednesday after a backlash against the pair’s behavior in the third draw against India in Sydney. Paine’s captaincy has been called into question after launching an ugly verbal tirade against Indian Ravichandran Ashwin and Smith was criticized after appearing to graze drummer Rishabh Pant’s guard at the crease on a tense final day. But an indignant Langer had none of it.
“Do I have faith in Tim Paine? You have no idea how much faith I have in Tim Paine,” he said.
“He hasn’t had his best day, definitely, but after three years he’s barely put a hair in his place.
“He’s been exceptional as an Australian captain in everything he does. He’s had a frustrating day and we certainly have to waste his time.”
Goalkeeper Paine, guilty of losing three catches on the final day, apologized and admitted frustration got the better of him when he tried to destabilize Ashwin, who held on for over three hours for an unbeaten 39 as the tourists recovered a draw.
Stump microphones picked up Paine doing a series of barbs at Ashwin.
Paine had previously been fined for dissent after a swearing rant against referee Paul Wilson on day two, with the incidents undermining Langer’s drive to revamp the team’s toxic culture after the ball tampering scandal. ” Sandpaper-gate “in 2018.
While supporting Paine to continue as captain “for a while yet,” Langer also acknowledged that criticism would come if anyone deviated from the high standards the team now set for themselves.
“When you set a standard as high as him, and we do, we understand that we are criticized when you fall below that. That’s not who we are,” he said.
“But Tim is an exceptional leader and will continue to be so for some time to come. He has my 100% support.”
‘A little weird’
Images of Smith, who was Australia’s captain during the sandpaper scandal and banned for a year, suggested he had deliberately interfered with Pant’s batting guard – a mark made in the fold as to where to stand. find your feet in relation to the wicket behind you.
Number four is noted for his quirks, including hype while on deployment, and has firmly denied doing anything wrong.
“As far as Steve Smith is concerned, I literally can’t believe some of the garbage I’ve read – an absolute load of garbage,” Langer said.
“I mean, anyone who knows Steve Smith, he’s a little weird… and we’ve all been laughing about it the last few years.
“What Steve Smith does at the crease, he probably does most games, he’s just thinking about the game. Anyone who suggests for a millisecond that he was trying to do something untoward, is irrelevant.
“On that gate, it was also flat, and it was like concrete, you would need 15 inch spikes to indent on the fold and it went away from the fold,” Langer added.
“So seriously, I thought it was absolutely ridiculous.”
The fourth and final test begins in Brisbane on Friday, with the series locked at 1-1.
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