Australia vs India: Steve Smith caught out by Spidercam as Kohli cracks another ton

Australia captain blames camera equipment for drop

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Australia captain Steve Smith added a new entry to the list of unlikely sporting excuses when he blamed an overhead camera for the fact he dropped a catch.

Smith was distracted by Spidercam, a manoeuvrable camera suspended above the pitch by wires, when he dropped India’s Lokesh Rahul during the fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Smith ran back from first slip after Rahul skied a Shane Watson delivery, only to see the ball slip through his fingers as it came down.

It was a costly drop, with Rahul on 46 at the time and going on to make 110, and the captain knew instantly where the blame lay. A visibly annoyed Smith pointed upwards straight away, mouthing the word “wire”.

Cricket Australia and the Nine Network said in a joint statement that Smith had been “distracted by one of the wires in his eye line”.

“We have spoken about the matter involving Spidercam and the dropped catch before lunch and it’s clear the ball did not hit the camera or its supporting wires,” the joint statement read.

“Captain Steve Smith was distracted by one of the wires in his eye line. Both CA and Nine will continue to work together on the use of Spidercam in the broadcast coverage and will take on board any player feedback as necessary.

“As it stands, if any player has a concern about the placement of Spidercam they can ask the umpires for it to be moved.”

Australia coach Darren Lehmann defended Spidercam, saying: “I think it’s good for the game. It’s not ideal where it was positioned for that particular ball. I actually like watching it. We’ve just got [to get] the position [of Spidercam] right when the bowler’s bowling – probably on the off side.”

Virat Kohli became the first man to make three Test centuries in his first three innings as captain, leading the visitors to 342 for 5 at close. Kohli, made captain when  M S Dhoni retired after the third Test, hit an unbeaten 140 to go with his twin centuries in the first Test – in which he also led India while Dhoni was injured – and his highest score of 169 in the third.