Steve Smith has fired back at Ian Chappell’s comments accusing him of ‘white-anting’ Tim Paine by saying that he is only attempting to help the Aussie skipper. Chappell had accused Smith of attempting to undermine Paine by making field changes on his own during the recently-concluded Day-Night Test.
During their recent innings-and-48-run win over Pakistan at Adelaide, Ian Chappell had pointed out an instance where Smith — a former Australian captain himself — repeatedly fiddled with the position of a fielder to his liking though initially set by Paine. Smith has now broken his silence on the matter by firmly putting his weight behind the 34-year-old.
“I only try and help Tim as much as I can. He’s doing a terrific job, but I give him suggestions and things like that. I only want the team to do well. I’m certainly not undermining him,” Smith told 9News as quoted by the Daily Mail.
Earlier Chappell had expressed his displeasure at Smith’s actions despite him having a chat with Paine about the particular position.
“I tell you what I don’t like to see, Steve Smith is moving a few fielders around. He did have a chat with Tim Paine, trying to talk Tim Paine into moving a fielder on the off-side, but I’m not sure Tim Paine moved him as far as Steve Smith wanted,” Chappell said.
“Steve Smith started moving him, I hate to see that. England used to do it a bit, blokes other than the captain and I always felt it was white-anting the captain,” Chappell added.
Following their comprehensive 2-0 win over Pakistan, Australia closed the gap on leaders India in the World Test Championship table by moving to 176 points — nearly 200 behind India’s tally of 360 points. They take on neighbours New Zealand next in a three-match series starting from December 12.