DHARAMSHALA: On a day Australia struggled to contain their anger and frustration right from the morning session, their captain Steve Smith was caught uttering the words “f****** cheat” when Murali Vijay claimed a low catch in the slip region to seemingly bring an end to Australia’s second innings.
Hazlewood’s apparent dismissal saw comic scenes at the HPCA Stadium as Vijay rushed back to the dressing room to put on his pads, groundsmen rushed in with a light roller and scrubbers before TV replays suggested Vijay had grassed the catch. Vijay and the Indians had to rush back to complete Australia’s innings, which incidentally took two more balls.
Smith didn’t see the funny side, appearing to say “f****** cheat” as cameras zoomed in on him following the decision’s reversal.
Australia batting coach Graeme Hick offered a more mature response, saying, “I haven’t seen or heard anything of that (Smith’s comment)… that’s for other people to comment on. But having fielded in slips, sometimes you’re not 100% sure. He (Vijay) would have felt that go into his fingers and felt it was a clean catch. Once it has been reviewed maybe fielders should stand and wait.”
To make matters worse for the already down and out Aussies, KL Rahul came out and hit three fours in the first over when India’s second innings resumed. There were also multiple showdowns between Ravindra Jadeja and Matthew Wade through the day, but Jadeja laughed it off by saying, “Hum toh match key baad milenge, dinner-shinner key liye, usi kaa plan bana rahe they (We were discussing plans to meet after the game).” Smith has already suffered a ‘brainfade’ in this series, sparking ‘Cheatgate’ by looking towards the dressing room for DRS advice in the Bengaluru Test. That controversy was spurred on by Virat Kohli suggesting Smith was a cheat.
Source: Times of India