Ashes 2019: Justin Langer defends Australian players' celebrations after Steve Smith's alleged mockery of Jack Leach

Justin Langer's Australia side clinched a dramatic fourth Test win over England in the last hour of Sunday's final session at Old Trafford, ensuring that they would retain the Ashes.

Agence France-Presse, Sep 10, 2019 20:13:26 IST

London: Australia coach Justin Langer has defended his players' boisterous celebrations after retaining the Ashes following claims they mocked England spin bowler Jack Leach.

Langer's side clinched a dramatic fourth Test win over England in the last hour of Sunday's final session at Old Trafford.

The victory gave Australia a 2-1 lead with just one match to play and they marked the occasion with a raucous on-field party.

At one stage, Australia's star batsman Steve Smith was seen wearing and rubbing a pair of glasses before shadow batting left-handed in the middle of a team huddle.

Some fans and pundits came to the conclusion that Smith was unkindly parodying the glasses-wearing Leach.

Leach had helped England teammate Ben Stokes snatch a remarkable win in the third Test with a 76-run unbroken partnership, during which the spinner scored just one run.

But Langer is adamant Smith was mimicking Chris Rogers, who last played for Australia in 2015 and, like Leach, wears glasses when he bats.

"Experience tells me that when you're doing well, people will try and pick holes in you. I know the truth. Chris Rogers is a great mate of the squad, that's all it's about. People can make up what they like about it, but that's the truth," Langer told reporters on Tuesday.

England coach Trevor Bayliss also played down the controversy.

"Fake news, like Donald Trump says. No one has mentioned it or spoken about it. It's all talk from you guys (the media)," said Bayliss.

Australia can clinch their first Test series win in England since 2001 if they avoid defeat in the last match, which starts at the Oval on Thursday.

Updated Date: Sep 10, 2019 20:13:26 IST

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 India 8411 263
4 Australia 5471 261
5 South Africa 4407 259
6 New Zealand 4784 252