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Steve Smith 'quite upset' about unsportsmanlike claims after getting caught scuffing Indian batsman's marks

Steve Smith is upset about being painted as one of Australia's villains at the SCG, where his marking of centre ignited debate about the world.

Smith was named man of the match after the drawn Test, having scored a total of 212 runs.

But the former skipper's actions in the field during a drinks break on day five, when he wandered over to the batting crease and shadow batted, is dominating headlines in India and England.

Some media outlets claimed Smith risked being charged by the match referee, likening it to deliberate running on the pitch, while former England captain Michael Vaughan termed it "very, very poor".

Tim Paine has apologised for his spat with Ravichandran Ashwin that marred a thrilling finish to the third Test, noting it "wasn't our finest day as a team".

But Paine was quick to defend the conduct and character of the man he replaced as captain after the ball-tampering saga in Cape Town.

"Steve's quite upset about it," Paine told reporters.

"I know he's really disappointed with the way it's come across.

"If you've watched Steve Smith play Test cricket, that's something he does every single game. Five or six times a day ... I have seen Steve do it many times in Test matches and Shield games.

"Now that it's come up ... it's something he might have to look at because of the perception."

Some pundits accused Smith of sharp practice, whereas others felt it was cheeky gamesmanship.

Paine argued neither was the case, insisting "there's no way in the world he was trying to change Rishabh Pant's guard or anything like that".

"I'd imagine if he was then the Indian players would have kicked up a bit of a stink at the time," the keeper said.

"He likes to walk up to where he bats and visualise how he's going to play ... he's always marking centre.

"You could see him up there, playing a couple of shots as a left-hander, as if (working out) where he wanted Lyno (Nathan Lyon) to pitch the ball."

India captain Ajinkya Rahane grinned during his post-match press conference when asked about the incident, saying he'd have to watch the video.

Matthew Wade's sledging and antics at the SCG have also been widely criticised.

"I love the way Wadey goes about it," Paine said.

"He's always been combative.

"I certainly don't want to change the way Wadey goes about it.

"He and all of us need to understand that sometimes how things can look are not how they are."