Gibson: Desperation made Aussies tamper

Proteas Ottis Gibson believes Australia’s win-at-all-costs mentality is the reason they are now embroiled in the ball-tampering scandal that threatens to change the face of cricket Down Under.

Aussie captain Steve Smith admitted on Saturday that he and his team’s “leadership group” tried to alter the condition of the ball illegally in South Africa’s second innings.

The visiting skipper said in the press conference that it was a crucial game – the series was level at 1-1 – and they wanted to get an advantage in the game by making the ball reverse swing earlier than usual.

The backlash from former Australia players and the public has been brutal with Cricket Australia now under pressure to take strog actions against all those involved.

Smith and vice-captain David Warner are expected to be given lengthy bans while coach Darren Lehmann is reportedly going to resign.

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Gibson, who could oversee South Africa’s first Test series victory over the Aussies at home since re-admission, feels the tourists got desperate as things were not going their own way on the field.

The SA mentor told reporters on Tuesday in Cape Town: “The Aussies have said it themselves, the brand of cricket they play is win-at-all-costs.

“When you look at the Ashes( which Australia won 4-0), 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.

“Every team, since the beginning of reverse swing, tries to get the ball to reverse. 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.

“The ball will reverse naturally, but everybody has a way of getting it 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.”

The fourth and final Test starts at the Wanderers on Friday with the home team needing a draw for an historic series victory.