Faf du Plessis has an unlikely ally in the “Mint-gate” scandal.
The Proteas skipper has been punished by the ICC, losing his entire match fee from the second Test against Australia for ball tampering after shining the ball with a sweet in his mouth.
The batsman has been allowed to play in the final Test, which started this morning, as South Africa go for a historic first-ever five-day whitewash in their first day/night clash.
And Faf’s Oz counterpart Steve Smith believes the SA captain has done nothing his team doesn’t do.
The Aussie says: “Every team around the world shines the cricket ball.
“And look, from my point of view, and I make it very clear that we haven’t come out and said anything about Faf or about how he was shining the ball, or anything like that.
“So look, we along with every other team around the world, shine the ball the same way.”
Faf said of his punishment, which he will appeal: “It’s not like I was trying to cheat or anything, I was shining the ball.
“It’s something that all cricketers do. Our mouths are always full of sugar.
“The thing that’s most disappointed us is that we’ve dominated and played exceptionally well. That’s taken all the shine away from that.”