Webbo

What was Smith doing ?

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What the hell was happening when he rubbed out the guard, Brain freeze? Deliberately trying to put off the batsman? No idea myself but the batting surface is never the fielding sides domain, just like the ball is nothing top do with the batsman. In Yorkshire league cricket that would be dealt with immediately by the batter! 

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42 minutes ago, Webbo said:

What the hell was happening when he rubbed out the guard, Brain freeze? Deliberately trying to put off the batsman? No idea myself but the batting surface is never the fielding sides domain, just like the ball is nothing top do with the batsman. In Yorkshire league cricket that would be dealt with immediately by the batter! 

i didn't see it and have not taken any notice, to be honest, till i saw your post and then thought perhaps i should. still have not seen a video.

interesting article from peter lalor - who is one of he better cricket writers around at the moment. posted below. i'm more concerned with paine shooting off his mouth. he needs to fix that asap. 

he is spot on with smith. weird as you can imagine - he was asked about his pre-ball ritual, every ball, and it is so unbelievably complicated - touches left leg, right leg, box, chest etc, in order. then taps the bat about 12 times in different places the same order every single ball. his entire life is cricket. apparently genuinely horrified to have cheating accusations thrown at him again.

he really does stand in the hotel room and play shots for hours. i don't find that odd - i never played at anything like the level he did but i still find myself, if in a queue somewhere or standing around, just playing imaginary shots (i don't find that weird but others might but they don't understand cricket). 

smith was really stupid, and paid the price with the ball tampering. you can't be captain and just think you can ignore that stuff and leave it to others. 

here, i suspect he just wandered up to the crease without thinking and was doing the equivalent of batting in the hotel room. he just wants to bat. i suspect that it was simply that he was off with the fairies and not thinking. still a stupid thing to do. 

you mention the wicket as the batting domaine. fully agree. i have never forgotten a game in england where we went out to bat to start the game. i was at the non strikers. opposition fast bowler walks up and starts tearing up the pitch with his spikes. i went ballistic. told the ump to stop it. the ump was this sycophantic little grub who wanted to be liked by his local team (who treated him like a pet the entire game) and so refused to do anything. so i spent ages repairing it. which pissed bpowler and ump off enormously. there was much paine-esque language. from us all. when they batted, i walked up and started ripping up the pitch in front of the ump. who was having none of it. and so more words. one of the only unpleasant games i played in england. the other was against the most appalling bunch of racists imaginable. but every other game was fantatsic. much less confrontationalistic than here. playing cricket in england is one of life's great joys. 

 

Steve Smith’s critics already had an axe to grind

Steve Smith’s obsession with batting has landed him in hot water with social media critics Picture: Getty Images Steve Smith’s obsession with batting has landed him in hot water with social media critics Picture: Getty Images

Were people waiting on their balconies with baseball bats? It felt like that.

Have they been itching to storm the Capitol, standing by looking for a sign from Q or a change in pitch from the dog whistle?

The pile on Australian cricket this week was fascinating and slightly frustrating given the broader suggestion that everything gained over the last three years was lost in the last three sessions of a Test.

 

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The attacks on Steve Smith and Tim Paine have been excoriating and excessive given their apparent crimes – which suggests pre-existing attitudes among those who got so shirtless and shrill.

Smith’s heinous act was taking his mark at the crease when not batting. The same Steve Smith who put on his whites and shadow batted in the hotel room he shared with his wife.

I’ve watched Steve Smith more than most people, I see him when the camera is on him and when it’s not. I’ve never heard the tap of his bat down a hotel corridor, but you get the gist.

Steve Smith shadow bats, people who don’t know what cricket is know this.

He does it on the crease when nobody else is there before play. He does it, like he did the other day, when the opposition batsmen have wondered off to eat or drink. He does it as a reflex, he’s probably not even aware he does it.

This is the bloke who put on his whites and shadow batted in the room with his wife the night before the Test.

Gideon Haigh defends him in the latest episode of Cricket Et Cetera, revealing that when he shadow bats in the kitchen of his Carlton home the first thing he does is mark his guard.

When informed by those who have seen Smith do this over the years, those who have condemned him shift their argument and say ‘well he shouldn’t’.

OK, but it’s not a rule and it does not support your starting position which is, basically, that Steve Smith is a shit bloke. A cheat even.

Come back with some new evidence please.

The pile on from the anonymous keyboard warriors is one thing, the pile on thing from other cricketers is another.

Darren Gough is one who did not hold back.

“It’s plain cheating in my book,” he said.

“People say he’s done nothing wrong, well he has. He’s going onto the pitch and trying to make it worse for the spinners to bowl onto a length.”

Really Darren? The spinner’s length is the crease? Bloody hell mate, I’m glad you opted to bowl seam not spin because it would have been a short career.

Even Michael Vaughan got stuck in too, but walked things back a little by saying he did not think it was cheating.

Vaughan is a decent bloke much liked around these parts and like Gough he copped a phone call from Langer over his comments.

“I spoke to Michael Vaughan as well, I thought he was out of line actually. You get it from (some of the critics), but I don’t expect it from (someone like Vaughan). I know he makes a living out of making those sorts of comments, but I thought he was out of line,” Langer said on SEN radio station on Wednesday morning.

“Everything (said) about Steve Smith is absolutely ludicrous, we have a laugh that he‘s a bit quirky and a bit different, he shadow bats in the shower, all he thinks about is batting. He certainly consciously wasn’t trying to do anything wrong.

“He was just standing there thinking about batting.

“He is 100 per cent innocent in this. He didn’t do anything on the pitch. If you know anything about cricket the wicket was like concrete, he would’ve needed 15-inch spikes to make an indent, to do what people were accusing him of doing and trying to mess up Pant’s guard.”

Paine’s crime – apart from dropping three catches – was losing control and calling Ravi Ashwin a dickhead.

He also had to pay a fine for saying something that rhymes with trucking to Blocker Wilson. It was heard on the stump microphones and David Boon charged him with dissent. It should have been for an audible obscenity but anyway, it’s the cricketing equivalent of having to put a gold coin in the jar when you’ve let the magic word drop in front of your kids.

Sunil Gavaskar basically called for Paine’s head in an interview with the Indian media over the exchange with Ashwin.

“I am not an Australian selector but his days as captain are numbered,” he said.

He was a bit gentler in an interview on these shores.

“He certainly is no captain in my view,” he told ABC Sport.

Certainly if Paine keeps dropping catches and his guard then his days are numbered, but it’s an extraordinary claim to make about a man who is celebrated for rescuing Australian cricket’s reputation and getting the side back to the top of the Test match table.

Gavaskar, reasonably enough, picked up on a few tactical lapses over the past two Tests, including not sending India in to bat at the MCG and field placements on the last day, but it’s not exactly reason enough for a coup.

Justin Langer dismissed the Indian legends take.

“You have no idea how much faith I have in Tim Paine,” Langer told reporters.

“He didn’t have his best day no doubt but after three years he has hardly put a hair out of place. He has been outstanding as the Australian captain in everything he does. He had a frustrating day.

“We’ve got to cut him some slack surely. When you set a standard as high as he does and we do, we understand we will be criticised when we fall below that. It’s not what we are about. Tim Paine, (he’s an) outstanding leader and will continue to be for a some time yet. He has our 100 per cent support.”

peter_lalor.png
SENIOR SPORTS WRITER

 

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https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jan/13/concrete-facts-prove-steve-smith-scuffing-claims-in-third-test-for-australia-against-india-just-political-dirt-kicking

I think I am in agreement with the guardian piece but I do find it strange, he was "practice" batting left handed. I think it shows why he was involved in sandpaper gate, hes not really able to keep his mind focused on the bigger picture, completely self absorbed.  As for Paine I think he has been under pressure for the first time as captain after a pretty good start and could not cope. I hope he can move on and stop this but lets see.

Regarding your comments on cricket in England you are 100% right, other than a few bad apples the way to behave on the field was ingrained from an early age, if you did not meet the standard or stepped out of line one of the senior players or captain would bloody well let you have it, verbally and physically if necessary (a la Brian Close) and I can say as young player I did not want that...... League cricket in the north of England is a tough school but fair.

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2 hours ago, Webbo said:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jan/13/concrete-facts-prove-steve-smith-scuffing-claims-in-third-test-for-australia-against-india-just-political-dirt-kicking

I think I am in agreement with the guardian piece but I do find it strange, he was "practice" batting left handed. I think it shows why he was involved in sandpaper gate, hes not really able to keep his mind focused on the bigger picture, completely self absorbed.  As for Paine I think he has been under pressure for the first time as captain after a pretty good start and could not cope. I hope he can move on and stop this but lets see.

Regarding your comments on cricket in England you are 100% right, other than a few bad apples the way to behave on the field was ingrained from an early age, if you did not meet the standard or stepped out of line one of the senior players or captain would bloody well let you have it, verbally and physically if necessary (a la Brian Close) and I can say as young player I did not want that...... League cricket in the north of England is a tough school but fair.

saw that piece as well.

smith is just a bit weird. well really weird. he would bat 22 hours a day if allowed. i really think that is all he wants to do. brain doesn't work quite the way most do. 

as for paine, i'd say that he was under immense pressure from day one. coming in as aussie capt (it is often said that it is the most important position in australia, even more so than prime minister) from nowhere was huge. cricket was pretty much rock bottom here with the sandpaper crap. if he had misstepped in any way, the ramifications would have been huge here. and then to go into the ashes, which is massive, and to perform so well in such a tight series, way more pressure than playing india could ever provide. especially with that stokes innings - had they not stuffed the video call on a stupid and obviously not out review, they'd have had it for a few balls later when the ump made a shocker  and would have won the ashes (as great as stokes innings was, he should have been out near the end, but not quite the fairy tale). to come back and win the next one was about as much pressure as any aussie captain has had for ages. 

i think that the team is grumpy from being in bubbles for months - some have not seen their wives for five months. it built up and the two teams are not great mates and i think he just launched into a bit of a rant. which is not acceptable as captain. but i think he has had way more pressure than this. 

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I think Tim Paine was emotionally wound up by the Pant situation. Even though the ICC allows a wicket-keeper to be substituted since 2017, Peter Lalor wrote an excellent article stating how frankly it was unfair for Pant not to field and then get promoted to bat and then affect the match like he did.

The ICC need to look at that rule, in my opinion as I agree with Lalor's take on it.

Steve Smith does do that shadow batting all the time. Yes, he is not an ordinary individual, even for a cricketer.

The Indians should be credited with saving the Sydney test as it was a great effort from them, but in my mind it echoed the Indians-Australia A day-night first-class match last month where both teams struggled to score in the first innings, the pitch settled and both teams scored easily in the second innings for a draw. Australia A even had two players score centuries on that benign pitch.

The 4th test, starting today in Brisbane, will not be the same. I think the Indians have practically no chance if Bumrah is out. Even if he plays, and with abdominal muscle issues, I still think the Australians will be hard to beat.

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2 hours ago, JohnS said:

I think Tim Paine was emotionally wound up by the Pant situation. Even though the ICC allows a wicket-keeper to be substituted since 2017, Peter Lalor wrote an excellent article stating how frankly it was unfair for Pant not to field and then get promoted to bat and then affect the match like he did.

The ICC need to look at that rule, in my opinion as I agree with Lalor's take on it.

Steve Smith does do that shadow batting all the time. Yes, he is not an ordinary individual, even for a cricketer.

The Indians should be credited with saving the Sydney test as it was a great effort from them, but in my mind it echoed the Indians-Australia A day-night first-class match last month where both teams struggled to score in the first innings, the pitch settled and both teams scored easily in the second innings for a draw. Australia A even had two players score centuries on that benign pitch.

The 4th test, starting today in Brisbane, will not be the same. I think the Indians have practically no chance if Bumrah is out. Even if he plays, and with abdominal muscle issues, I still think the Australians will be hard to beat.

we have not lost at the gabba for decades. the indians have never won there. bumrah out and their chances are slim. some rain about. a draw good enough for the indians to retain the trophy. 

agree with the thoughts re keeper subs. 

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I just can't fathom how good Steve Smith would be if he somehow managed to rid himself of all that pre ball fidgeting and fussing tapping etc. Not only the energy he would save , from a mental standpoint he could take his batting to another level. All of that has no bearing at all on his next shot. Relax for xucks sake .

Now we all know the rules even on hard astro turf decks..If you are not batting you cannot go on thier. With you on this one Ken ....he was off with the fairies...I don't think he was cheating ,  just a dumb move. This is why he cannot be captain again. He already holds to much public shame and disgrace. 

Timmy  , well you have the most prestigious and highest paid sporting job in Australia . I hope you come out and show us what you are truly made of . You let us down . 

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Just now, westg said:

I just can't fathom how good Steve Smith would be if he somehow managed to rid himself of all that pre ball fidgeting and fussing tapping etc. Not only the energy he would save , from a mental standpoint he could take his batting to another level. All of that has no bearing at all on his next shot. Relax for xucks sake .

Now we all know the rules even on hard astro turf decks..If you are not batting you cannot go on thier. With you on this one Ken ....he was off with the fairies...I don't think he was cheating ,  just a dumb move. This is why he cannot be captain again. He already holds to much public shame and disgrace. 

Timmy  , well you have the most prestigious and highest paid sporting job in Australia . I hope you come out and show us what you are truly made of . You let us down . 

westy, i'd suggest that without all the weird stuff, he might not be what he is. if it works for him, keep it going. i know it is all superstitious but let him have it. 

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2 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

westy, i'd suggest that without all the weird stuff, he might not be what he is. if it works for him, keep it going. i know it is all superstitious but let him have it.

I would buy in to this completely.   Let's face it ...He's not normal.   Abnormal people much like Dustin Hoffman in 'Rainman' can happily tap into binge watch jeopardy and being obsessive about buying specific brand underpants, as they can counting spilt toothpicks via photographic memory. 

When you're dealing with people who are borderline asbergers, (and want all the positives thats brings),   don't be surprised if they also remove all the blue M&M's from your snacks, and insist on doing all sorts of random nonsense with your protective box.

Yes .........he will routinely score multiple centuries, but he might also take a dump in your thermos

 

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All that "fidgeting" is his mental prep. If he didn't do it, his game would suffer, as he would not be in the right state of mind (relatively speaking).

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Disagree . Yes he has a few wires crossed that has always been obvious. Remove all that plucking pulling and knocking pre ball as it has absolutely no bearing on the outcome of the next delivery he faces . None ! Remove that from his mind set and I think he could reach another level. Better of course. 

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21 minutes ago, westg said:

Disagree . Yes he has a few wires crossed that has always been obvious. Remove all that plucking pulling and knocking pre ball as it has absolutely no bearing on the outcome of the next delivery he faces . None ! Remove that from his mind set and I think he could reach another level. Better of course. 

westy, i know what you mean but it is more about what makes him comfortable. if all that nonsense makes him comfortable, then why not. 

think of it as a golfer addressing the ball. might take a few half practice swings. makes him comfortable. or a young spinner i watched the other day. he rips the ball about six times before every ball he bowls - was a bit annoying. but that seemed to be what he needed to do. think of a kicker in rugby lining up a goal. he will have little idiosyncrasies.

as you say, neither impacts on the next shot or ball. but as part of the prep, necessary. 

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