Darren Gough ripped into Australia’s ’embarrassing’ behaviour during their Test match with India and said Steve Smith’s actions were ‘plain cheating’.
The Australia cricket team has come in for criticism for their actions during the third Test in Sydney.
Sledging from captain Tim Paine has come under the spotlight for verging onto abuse while Smith was caught scuffing away the guard mark of batsman Rishabh Pant.
Former India great Virender Sehwag wrote on Twitter: “Tried all tricks including Steve Smith trying to remove Pant’s batting guard marks from the crease.”
And condemnation of the incident soon followed, with former England player and coach turned commentator David Lloyd quote tweeting the video with the words ‘how childish’.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan added: “This is very very poor from Steve Smith!!”
Smith was banned for 12 months in 2018 for his role, when Australian captain, in the ball-tampering scandal during the third Test against South Africa in Newlands.
Former England fast bowler Gough has given his opinion on the latest controversy, telling the Australian team to grow up as they were ‘embarrassing’.
Speaking on Drivetime, Gough said: “Tim Paine disagrees with a decision, the captain by the way who was supposed to make Australia like butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth. He’s been fined because he showed dissent on an unsuccessful DRS review in India’s first innings.
“Then day five when Australia are under pressure and India are showing a huge fightback. This is when it happens with Australia. When they are under pressure they go for it. They go for it like no other team in the world.
“It just went a little bit too far. First of all you had Steve Smith who showed us all these tears and sorrow a few years ago when they got done for using sandpaper on the ball, he was the captain who was responsible for that because he was the leader of the team.
“Now during a break in play he’s going round and dancing around, scuffing up the pitch and rubbing out the mark with his spikes of the batsman’s marker.
“That was totally out of order. 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.
“Then he’s rubbing out the markers for the batsmen where he puts his bat. It’s plain cheating in my book.
“The second one, because they are under pressure, Tim Paine had already dropped a catch, he decided to get stuck into Ashwin.
“What he didn’t expect was for Ashwin to come back. The words used were ‘wait till we get you to the Gabba’. Ashwin responded ‘wait till we get you back to India my old friend’, as he said ‘that will be your last Test match.’
“He didn’t like that and that’s when the abuse started and called him a ‘something head’ and no one likes you in your team. I’ve got more Indian friends than you’ve got.
“It went on and on and on. Australia are supposed to have got it all in order with this captain Tim Paine. They’ve given him a knighthood basically for what he’s done to this team and made them grow up.
“They just are dropping back into that zone. You have to keep an eye on this. Australia get your act together right now. It’s embarrassing.”
It was a tense Test match from the start with the Indian players twice reporting racist abuse from the crowd.
Bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj complained of hearing racist slurs while fielding near the boundary.
Gough added: “It’s getting a bit nasty. I’m amazed at this. With everything that has been going on in the last couple of years and Australia seem to be in a different bubble to everybody else in the world.
“Before the game, a young player (Mohammed Siraj) for them playing just his second Test match, it’s been a terrible time for him.
“He came from the UAE where he was playing in a league over there to Australia. His father died while he was in quarantine in Australia so he couldn’t go back.
“His dad’s dream was to see his son play for India. He cried at the start of the national anthem at the start of that Test.
“He’s a Muslim Indian as well so that makes it harder to play for the India national side and he got racist abuse alongside another player Jasprit Bumrah.
“Every time they went down into that corner they were getting abuse. Six people were kicked out the ground for that and I’m sure the investigation will carry on.
“All that happened straight away, fair play to this young kid in just his second Test match he goes up to the umpire and reports it and points to the people involved.
“It needs young brave players to go up and report the people involved.”
India did manage to salvage a draw in the third Test finishing the day losing just five wickets when the hosts needed to bowl them out to win.
The fourth Test starts in Brisbane on Friday.