Steve Smith has angrily confronted umpire Nigel Llong heading into the lunch break on day one of the Boxing Day after two controversial dead ball calls.
Llong called two dead balls in the shadows of the lunch break denying Australia two leg byes, after both balls were deflected off of Smith.
‘ABSOLUTE GARBAGE’: Cricket legend's brutal sledge for high-flying Kiwis
'OBSCENELY GOOD': Ben Simmons dominates Christmas MVP matchup
The former Test captain took off twice, only to be sent back after he was told he hadn’t attempted to evade the short deliveries, which would have allowed the leg byes.
Australian cricket great Shane Warne went in to bat for Smith, saying Llong ought to have the rules read to him during the break while on commentary for Fox Sport.
“The umpire is wrong. Steve Smith has every right to be angry because the interpretation Nigel Llong is giving at the moment is incorrect,” Warne said.
“The rule is, if you evade a short ball and it hits your body, any part of your body and you take it, you’re allowed to run. Even if you don’t play a shot.
“Nigel Llong has got that wrong.
“I’m sure someone is going to have a chat to Nigel Llong in the lunch break because Steve Smith is livid and rightly so.”
Smith struggling against Bodyline 2.0. Twice denied leg byes by Nigel Llong who said he was not taking evasive action. Smith not impressed at all. Complaining again at end of over.— Peter Lalor (@plalor) December 26, 2019
Steve Smith not happy at all with umpire Nigel Llong. Wants to know why the 2 dead balls were called, denying Australia 2 leg byes. Smith believes he was taking evasive action, Llong disagrees. #AUSvNZ #BoxingDayTest— Andrew Wu (@wutube) December 26, 2019
Joe Burns skittled by ‘absolute jaffa’
The volatile MCG pitch produced the first wicket of the Boxing Day Test in record time, with New Zealand star Trent Boult bamboozling Joe Burns on his first ball.
Boult sent the stumps flying and Burns back to the MCG rooms for a golden duck with a sensational in-swinger that had the New Zealand fans in raptures.
Unfortunately for Burns, former Test captain turned analyst Ricky Ponting seemed to hit him with the commentator’s curse while on the mic for Channel 7.
As Boult ran in to deliver the fateful ball, Ponting took a brief moment to detail Burns’ weakness against the new ball.
“(Burns has) had a few issues with the brand new ball swinging in, shaping back in towards off stump on a full length,” Ponting said, moments before Burns was bowled.
Social media lit up after the New Zealand seamer bounce back from missing the first Test loss in Perth.