Graeme Swann has slammed Steve Smith and Tim Paine and told the Australia stars to ‘grow up’ after they were involved in controversies during the drawn Test against India at Sydney.
Paine was widely condemned after clashing with India spinner Ravi Ashwin and calling him a ‘d***head’ as well as claiming he is disliked by his own team-mates.
The Australia Test captain has since apologised for his conduct and admitted his leadership was ‘not good enough’ as he lost his cool during a thrilling Test.
Smith, meanwhile, was criticised by the likes of Michael Vaughan and Darren Gough after appearing to scuff up the batting crease while in the field.
Australia head coach Justin Langer has since defended Smith and called the media criticism ‘absolute rubbish’, refuting the claims his player was trying to gain an advantage.
But former England spinner Swann ‘doesn’t buy’ Australia’s explanation for the Smith incident and has also slammed Paine for his ‘pathetic’ sledging.
‘Sledging, when you think about it, is pathetic,’ Swann wrote in a column for Betfair. ‘Having a go at someone and trying to undermine them mentally is absolutely pathetic.
‘Taking the piss out of people, having a laugh and trying to get them out of their bubble I think is brilliant, and I was always a massive fan of that.
‘But just abusing someone, not because they’ve nicked one and not walked – I can understand that one, that happens – but because you can’t get them out and you have to resort to calling them every name under the sun, trying to humiliate them is just rubbish.
‘And then Steve Smith scuffing Pant’s guard away? Talk about childish – it’s schoolyard stuff. And I’m not buying that he was shadow-batting – he hasn’t got to bat again and he’s not left-handed!
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