Justin Langer Defends Tim Paine, Steve Smith Amid Criticism
Australia coach Justin Langer has ensured under-scanner skipper Tim Paine his "100 percent" support and brushed off criticism of Steve Smith as "absolute rubbish" Wednesday after a backlash against the pair's behaviour in the drawn third Test against India in Sydney.
While backing Paine to continue as captain "for some time yet", Langer also acknowledged criticism would come if anyone deviated from the high standards the team now set themselves.
"When you set a standard as high as he does, and we do, we understand we get criticised when you fall below that. It's not what we are about," he said.
As for Steve Smith, I literally cannot believe some of the rubbish I've read -- absolute load of rubbish," said Langer.
"I mean, anyone who knows Steve Smith, he is a bit quirky... and we have all laughed about it for the last couple of years.
"What Steve Smith does at the crease he does it probably most games, he's just thinking about the game. Anyone who suggests for one millisecond he was trying to do something untoward, they're way out of line.
"On that wicket, that was that flat, and it was like concrete, you'd need 15-inch spikes to make an indent on the crease and he went nowhere near the crease," Langer added.
"So seriously, I thought that was absolutely ludicrous."