Rahul – who went on to make his maiden Test century – was on 46 when he skied the ball into the air, only for Smith to spill the chance.
Smith immediately pointed upwards and could clearly be seen to mouth the word “wire”.
Commentators initially suggested the ball had hit the wire, but Cricket Australia and broadcasters Nine Network subsequently issued a joint statement to clarify that Smith had been “distracted by one of the wires in his eye line”.
“We 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,” read the statement.
“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.”
Australia coach Darren Lehmann said he was in favour of the use of Spidercam, although he did question the positioning of the camera for the incident involving Smith.
“I think it’s good for the game but it’s not ideal where it was positioned for that particular ball,” he said.
“I actually like watching it. We’ve just got to get the position right when the bowler’s bowling – probably on the off side.”