ONE of the big problems that people from Western countries have is that they are unable to admit to any wrongdoing when they are caught out in a confrontation with someone from the East.
They are never wrong even when they are caught red-handed. Remember Lance Armstrong?
It is this mentality that prevents Steven Smith, the captain of Australia’s cricket team, from pretending that he was not trying to consult members of his team in the pavilion before deciding whether to have an LBW decision reviewed during the final innings of the second Test against India in Bangalore on Tuesday (March 7).
By the rules of the game, either team has 15 seconds to ask for a review of a decision. While the fielding team can consult among itself, the batsman in question can only ask his batting partner. He cannot look to the pavilion for help.
But this is exactly what Smith did on Tuesday, the fourth day of the Test, when Australia was chasing 188 for a win on a crumbling wicket in Bangalore. He was fourth out at 74, plumb LBW to Umesh Yadav. The ball kept very low and would have hit both middle- and off-stumps.
As he meandered around near the midway point of the pitch, Smith could be seen on TV glancing towards the pavilion. This was so obvious that one of the umpires, Nigel Llong, came over and cautioned him about what he was doing.
Further, former Australian captain Michael Clarke, who was commentating on television, also pointed out what Smith seemed to be doing and said it was not kosher. Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar and Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar also mentioned it on TV.
Indian captain Virat Kohli did not mince words when he held his post-match press conference.
Now we have James Sutherland, the chief executive of Cricket Australia, sitting in Sydney, about 12 hours flying time from Bangalore, claiming that Smith is the next thing to a boy scout!
This is not the first time Australian batsmen have done this during the Bangalore Test. Others in the team have been caught looking towards the pavilion too, but not so blatantly as Smith did.
Smith is pretending that it was a brain fade. Well, if it was, the whole Australian team better visit a good brain surgeon pretty soon for many of them seem to suffer from these “brain fades”. It could turn out to be something serious.
And the Australians had better bear one thing in mind: the colonial era, when brown men simply saluted and accepted what the white man told them to do, is well and truly over. Virat Kohli and his team belong to a generation that believes it is equal to, or better than, the Australian players.
They are constantly in the face of the Australians; the team from Down Under loves dishing it out, but are prone to start whinging when the chips are down.
Get used to it, mate. ‘Fess up and move on.