On a day when the hosts were guilty of some sloppy effort on the field, Smith also floored a chance before lunch to allow the rookie Indian batsman to get his maiden hundred in his second Test.

Smith was seen pointing towards the sky after dropping a chance offered by Rahul (110) when he was on 46, and a joint statement from Cricket Australia and the Nine Network confirmed that Smith had been "distracted by one of the wires in his eyeline".

"We (CA & Nine) have spoken about the matter involving Spidercam and the dropped catch before lunch and it's clear the ball did not hit the camera or its supporting wires," the joint statement read.

"Captain Steve Smith was distracted by one of the wires in his eye line. Both CA and Nine will continue to work together on the use of Spidercam in the broadcast coverage and will take on board any player feedback as necessary.

"As it stands, if any player has a concern about the placement of Spidercam they can ask the umpires for it to be moved."Spidercam is held aloft by a series of wires fixed to high points around the SCG. The same system has been in use in grounds around Australia for many seasons providing a unique perspective on cricket coverage.

Rahul top-edged a pull off Shane Watson only to see the ball ballooning high over Smith's head, who was fielding at first slip.

Smith ran back and steadied himself under the ball, but it slipped through his hands, with the skipper immediately pointing up when the ball hit the turf.

He was seen to mouth "the wire" to teammates on television replays immediately after the drop and was still shaking his head minutes later when he briefly discussed the incident with umpire Richard Kettleborough.

It added to a frustrating morning for the Australians, who blew a golden opportunity to run out Rahul when he was on 42.

Smith also dropped another tough chance at second slip in the second session and this time of his opposite number, Virat Kohli.

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