The public sentiment is firmly in favour of Marnus Labuschagne after he was mocked by Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds in their now infamous “hog piling” (or Hogg piling) gaffe, but the Australian team's on-field response has not gone unnoticed by some in the baggy green family.
There were a few more blushes for Warne after captain Tim Paine and Matthew Wade were overheard on the stump mic referencing the conversation on day four of the Sydney Test.
Tim Paine and Matthew Wade’s defence of Marnus Labuschagne has caused a ripple among former players.Credit:AP
There has been chatter this week questioning why the Australians, with a crucial Test on the line, would be taking part in such a discussion instead of being fully focused on the game.
It's a fair point and one that is harder to dismiss given Australia could not secure the win, though whether or not it impacted materially on the result is debatable.
Vaughan holds firm on Smith
As a captain, Michael Vaughan was an excellent strategist. He is smart with his positioning as well on Twitter, judging by his responses to the Steve Smith shadow batting furore.
Even after Justin Langer fired up at him, the former England captain is not backing away from his criticism of Smith, whose form he labelled "very, very poor" after seeing footage of him appearing to remove Rishabh Pant's batting guard. He did, however, stop short of alleging he had cheated.
In what this column interpreted as a good-natured exchange between mates, Vaughan hit back at his Fox Cricket colleague Mark Waugh, who quipped he had lost his "marbles" for his take on Smith.
"Are you struggling to read Junior … as I have clearly stated it was silly & not cheating but the laws are the laws… btw let's see if he continues to do it in Brisbane if he does it all the time," Vaughan tweeted.
It's a clever argument to mount by Vaughan as he will not doubt be aware of the controversy Smith risks sparking by doing it again.
India do not appear to be perturbed by Smith's actions.
"As a batsman, Rishabh wasn't even aware so I would not like to comment on it because it hardly mattered," batting coach Vikram Rathour said.
As for the laws regarding a fielder damaging the pitch, "a fielder will be deemed to be causing avoidable damage if either umpire considers that his presence on the pitch is without reasonable cause". In this case, neither umpire intervened to give captain Tim Paine a warning.
Paine's BBL weakness
Given Tim Paine had alluded to the lukewarm interest Indian Premier League franchises showed in Ravichandran Ashwin, he will be hoping the India off-spinner was not paying attention to the Big Bash League on Tuesday night.
This is somewhat shaky ground for Paine, a last-minute signing by the Hobart Hurricanes for BBL10.
Hobart coach Adam Griffith was non-committal when asked if the Test captain would get a game after the series against India.
Paine will face red-hot competition for the gloves from Matthew Wade, who is also an explosive opener in Twenty20s.
Healy fires up
Australia batting ace Alyssa Healy has targeted the Indian side over reports the visitors were unhappy with their hotel quarantine arrangements.
"We are locked up in our rooms, have to make our own beds, clean our own toilets. Food is coming from a nearby Indian restaurant which will be given to us on our floor. We can’t move out of the floor that’s been designated to us," an unnamed source from the Board of Control for Cricket in India told The Times of India.
Healy, however, could not see what the fuss was about.
"the Aus and NZ women’s teams did their quarantine in the same hotel last year. Here’s a shock – we survived….," Healy, whose husband is pace ace Mitchell Starc, wrote on Twitter.
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