Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Langer defends Australia's Ashes celebrations

Steve Smith Steve Smith
Sidney Guerrero | 11 September, 2019, 18:41

Ashes captains Joe Root and Tim Paine have spoken ahead of the fifth and final Ashes Test at the Oval.

Australia have retained the Ashes after victory at Old Trafford gave them an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series.

"Looking at the conditions and the series being a long and tough one, we've kept the same bowling group that was together last Test match, they've bowled a lot of overs and we feel that bringing Mitchell in will ease a bit of the workload on them", Paine said. "It's all talk from you guys (the media)". You're marked and you take it to your grave.

England have their own history of ball tampering. Atherton was later fined £2000 for failing to disclose the dirt to the match referee, but retained the captaincy.

Langer has come forward and denied batsman Steve Smith mocked English rival Jack Leach when he was celebrating winning the series on Sunday.

Siddle, who could return to the XI for the Oval test, pointed out the double standards while returning serve at Harmison.

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"But he's a huge part of Australian cricket's future, he's a gun young player and he's getting better all the time, so it's disappointing for him that he's not playing this Test match, he'd dearly love to obviously, but we'll go back to Australia, conditions will be different, there's no doubt he's in the top six or seven batsmen in our country".

Smith also inflamed tensions during celebrations on the field after the series-clinching win at Old Trafford. It actually comes back on him.

At one stage Steve Smith was seen wearing and rubbing a pair of glasses before shadow batting left-handed in the middle of a team huddle. "We'll have the last laugh about that, and I think Steve Smith has definitely put those to rest and he's just done his talking with the bat".

However, Australian coach Justin Langer cleared the air, claiming that Smith was imitating his former teammate and Australia opening batsman Chris Rogers.

While Rogers said he had received a picture from Smith, insisting he was the inspiration, even Rogers isn't so sure that is the truth.

Smith was the No 1-ranked batsman in Test cricket before he was suspended past year by Cricket Australia.

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