There was an intriguing little incident just before the lunch break at The Gabba on day four of a thrilling fourth cricket Test between Australia and India.
In between overs, India star Rohit Sharma indulged in a bit of ‘shadow batting,’ taking stance in front of the stumps and playing a couple of shots.
An interested observer was Steve Smith – who got in hot water for doing the same thing but also scraping his boot around the crease during a tense final day at the SCG.
“At the change of ends here, Rohit Sharma comes in and just checking out the pitch,” Adam Gilchrist said on Fox Cricket.
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“Just getting himself all sorted for when he has to bat. A bit of controversy out of the previous Test – Steve Smith there on the left was observing it very closely. A lot of discussion from outside the two teams, I would imagine, about standing in the batting crease area if you’re not actually batting.”
Perhaps Rohit was winding Smith up and having some fun, perhaps he was genuinely wanting to get his eye in for later.
“Steve Smith observing Rohit Sharma – I personally don’t see any issue with someone coming in and doing that,” Gilchrist continued.
Probably the umpire won’t really want him walking off straight through a danger area there. But I don’t think for one minute Rohit Sharma is doing anything other than observing the conditions and that’s all I thought Steve Smith was doing at the time. But it was interesting to see Smith just glaring, observing.”
Mike Hussey didn’t have an issue with Rohit’s behaviour, either.
“Rohit Sharma was just visualising a little bit for when he’s going to have to come out to bat, probably after tea,” Hussey said.
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Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar also weighed in on Sony TV’s coverage.
“It’s very important for all those who thought Steve Smith was tampering the pitch and he had some kind of malicious intent, Rohit Sharma has done the exact same thing as Steve Smith did,” Manjrekar said.