Former Australian fast-bowler Mitchell Johnson has slammed that section of the audience at Lord's that booed Steve Smith even when he was clobbered on the neck by a Jofra Archer bumper late in the day. Smith took the blow and tumbled down on the ground and was then taken off the field.
"It has really disappointed me. I do not care what people say. Yes, they can say he is a cheat and thats why we are booing him but that is absolute rubbish to me. Yes, he has done what he has done," Johnson can be heard saying in a video posted by ESPNCricinfo.
Smith has been in roaring form this Ashes
Smith, who has been in scintillating form in the ongoing Ashes, held fort once again and stood tall even as the rest of the Australian batting kept falling around him. However, in an intense passage of play, Jofra Archer found some great rhythm and managed to hit Smith twice with sharp bounders. Before tumbling down to the ground, the former Australian skipper was hit on the elbow.
As soon as he lay flat on the ground, physios from both England and Australia rushed out to check on the batsman. However, after a series of tests, the right-hander was back striding out but a section of the England crowd decided to boo the player.
"One of the biggest disappointing things for me was the crowd and I am not saying it was the whole crowd, but there were a couple of boos that you could hear through the microphone," Johnson said.
"You can boo him when he comes out to bat at the start of innings, but seeing him getting booed when he came back out after being struck by Archer, that was disappointing. The fans that booed Smith are not cricket fans according to me," he further added.
When he was eventually dismissed by Chris Woakes for 92, Smith had dragged Australia to a level of parity. Australian bowlers then struck in the final passage of play to leave the hosts at 96 for 4 in the final innings.
When play starts on the fifth day, England will be leading Australia by 104 runs and will have 6 wickets in the kitty. Draw seems to be most likely result, but the conditions have been conducive for the seamers and hence, an Australian win could also prop up if the visitors manage to pick early wickets in the day.