Test legend makes wild accusation against Steve Smith

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

Australian cricketing great Ian Chappell has sensationally accused former skipper Steve Smith of ‘white-anting’ incumbent captain Tim Paine.

The former skipper turned commentator, never shy to offer an opinion, weighed in on the dynamic between the former and current captains while on the call for Macquarie Sports Radio.

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Chappell said Smith had been making adjustment’s to Paine’s field placements, something he felt was a step too far.

“I tell you what I don’t like to see, Steve Smith is moving a few fieldsmen around,” he said.

“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.

Australia's Steve Smith speaks with captain Tim Paine on the third day of the second cricket Test match against Pakistan in Adelaide on December 1, 2019. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

“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.”

Smith criticised for slips positioning

In an uncharacteristic showing for the normally impeccable Smith, the former skipper put down two chances to dismiss Yasir Shah in Pakistan’s first innings.

Both slips catches failed to carry to Smith, with cricketing greats Mark Waugh and Shane Warne, both esteemed slips catchers themselves, suggesting Smith was positioned too far back.

“He's way too deep. That was nowhere near it," Waugh told Fox Cricket.

“That does surprise me, a player of his experience.

“You'll have to ask him, I thought he had more brains than that. There's no set rule, you just have to use your brains.”

Smith wasn’t spared by Warne either, who accused the former skipper of dropping a ‘regulation chance’ because of his positioning.

“That was a regulation nick and that's what the slip should be there for,” Warne said.

“You would have thought Steve Smith would have learned his lesson in Brisbane.

“That should have been straight to him."