Qantas Tour of South Africa
'Desperation' behind Aussie actions: Gibson
South Africa believes ball-tampering scandal has tarnished the country's rich cricket history
27 March 2018, 10:14 PM AEST
Australia's win-at-all-costs mentality is behind the ball-tampering scandal that has engulfed their cricket and they should now look hard at how they play the game, says South Africa coach Ottis Gibson.
Gibson, who was appointed Proteas coach last year and whose side leads Australia 2-1 with a Test to play in the current series, believes desperation had got the better of Steve Smith and his team in Cape Town, where on day three they were found to have engaged in ball-tampering.
"The Aussies have said it themselves, the brand of cricket they play is win-at-all-costs," Gibson said, adding that Australia's relatively comfortable 4-0 win in the Ashes against England might have played a part.
"When you look at the Ashes, they were never really behind in any of the games, they won quite comfortably.
"Here they have been behind a couple of times and perhaps that desperation came into it. It's a shame that something like this had to happen for them to have to have a look at themselves."
Australian captain Steve Smith has admitted that the pressure of being behind in the third Test in Cape Town led to an orchestrated attempt to alter the condition of the ball to aid reverse swing and gain an advantage
"Every team, since the beginning of reverse swing, tries to get the ball to reverse," Gibson said. "They skim it in, they bounce it in, they try and get it rough. The spinner gets his hand in the dirt and rubs it on the ball. Everybody has got a way of getting the ball to go a little bit further.
"Perhaps the desperation that they were behind in the game meant they took it that step further. It's unfortunate."
Gibson says the ball-tampering controversy is such a big story not only because of the calculated nature of the act, but also due to Australia's rich and successful cricket history.
"Especially with what Steve Smith said, that it was planned by a few of them, makes it an even bigger topic for people to talk about," he said.
"Cricket Australia is a hundred-year-old organisation and they have been the envy of the world in terms of winning World Cup and so on. They have had great teams and great players for a long time.
"Those great players from the past will now feel like their good name has been tarnished a bit, so people have a right to be upset about it."
Qantas tour of South Africa
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Quinton de Kock, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers.
Australia squad: Steve Smith, David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights
First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard
Second Test South Africa won by six wickets. Scorecard
Third Test South Africa won by 322 runs. Scorecard
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage