Virat Kohli didn’t hold back over the incident that saw Steve Smith confront the dressing room for an lbw decision against him.
The Test series between Australia and India is heating up vigorously. Australia thrashed the hosts in the first Test by a mammoth 333 runs. With Australia needing 188 runs to win in the second Test, India were facing another defeat. But things started to get a bit feisty when the fourth wicket fell.
In the heat of battle with Australia at 74-3 in the 21st over, Umesh Yadav trapped Steve Smith lbw. The Aussie captain, considering a review, glanced up at the dressing room which strictly violates the DRS laws. The India players reacted in an outrage. Umpire Nigel Llong promptly responded and Smith was given out and sent back to the pavilion.
Kohli, talking to the media after the match, emphasised his disgust with the incident and clarified that it had happened more than once during the three days.
‘I saw that two times happening when I was batting out there,’ Kohli said.
‘I pointed it out to the umpires, that it’s happened twice and I have seen their players looking up there for confirmation and that’s why the umpire was at him (Smith).
‘Because we observed that and we told the match referee as well, and we told the umpires they had been doing that for the last three days and that had to stop. There’s a line that you don’t cross on the cricket field, sledging and playing against the opponents is different.
‘I don’t want to mention the word, but it falls into that bracket. I would never do something like that on the cricket field.’
Asked if that word was ‘cheating’, Kohli replied to his inquisitor without a hint of a smile: ‘I didn’t say that, you did.’
Smith was confronted by the media about the incident and he downplayed the situation.
‘I obviously got hit on the pad and looked down to Petey [Handscomb], and Petey sort of said, ”Looked out”’, said Smith.
‘I turned around [to the dressingroom] and said: ”What do you reckon”? It was a bit of brain fade on my behalf. I shouldn’t have done that. I was looking at my boys, and shouldn’t have done that. I think it was the first time it’s happened.’
Kohli fired back at the Aussie captain.
‘Honestly, if somebody makes a mistake while batting that’s – for me, personally – a brain fade,’ Kohli said.
‘The way I left the ball in Pune, getting hit on the off-stump, that was a brain fade. But if something is going on for three days, that’s not a brain fade – it’s as simple as that.
‘I don’t want to say more on that, the videos are out there for everyone to see and it was getting repetitive and that’s why the umpires knew that it might happen again. I saw it two times when I was batting, I can vouch for that. We take our decisions on the field ourselves, we don’t look for confirmation upstairs. I think that’s one thing that’s pretty consistent with us.’