AT LAST someone with stature in Australian cricket has spoken out against the arrogance of the Australian captain, who has had to apologise for his own misconduct on the field of play, but still seeks to minimise the unsportsmanlike behaviour of a member of his team. Ian Chappell has said what the current captain and coach have refused to do, that is, to acknowledge that Smith’s action was unacceptable.

To suggest that the actions of Steve Smith in scuffing the batsman’s mark were innocuous is as dishonest as the act itself. Especially coming from a captain who has lowered the bar of sportsmanship. It is intolerable that he could seek to reduce Smith’s action to innocent behaviour in which he has engaged before.

Where is the evidence that Smith is a habitual pitch scuffer or, as has been asked by Michael Vaughan, that he will do the same at the “Gabba”.

Has he done this when his team is at the wicket, or is it only when the opposing team is batting? How stupid does Paine think the viewing public is?

Ian Chappell’s advice is very appropriate: “Stop talking and start thinking.”

That is what the Indian captain, Ajinkya Rahane, does, which is why India won the previous match and salvaged a draw in this one, and received accolades for his masterful leadership.

With all the injuries affecting the Indian team, its performance in the final test will continue to be of the standard expected of world class players.

Karan Mahabirsingh

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