India v Australia, 2nd Test, Bengaluru, 4th day March 7, 2017

'Australia crossed the line' on DRS - Kohli


Play 01:34
'If something is going on for three days, that's not a brain fade'

India's captain Virat Kohli has said that Australia crossed the line "that you don't cross on a cricket field" when it comes to DRS protocols. Kohli accused Australia of taking help from the dressing room on at least three occasions before making their mind up on reviews in the Bengaluru Test.

Kohli's remarks after India's remarkable come-from-behind win were reminiscent of current coach Anil Kumble's words at the conclusion of the infamous Sydney Test in 2007-08: "Only one team was playing in the spirit of the game."

Minutes before Kohli's press conference, unaware of the allegations coming his way, Australia's captain Steven Smith had said that there had been only one instance of their looking up to the dressing room for assistance, and that it was a "brain fade". Kohli said he had made the umpires aware of it on the earlier two occasions before the third one played out in full view.

When Smith was ruled out lbw in a tense chase of 188, he looked towards the dressing room after having chatted with non-striker Peter Handscomb, apparently for clues on whether to review the call or not. Umpire Nigel Llong intervened immediately, and sent him on his way. Llong also prevented a seemingly livid Kohli from getting into that conversation. Kohli later said he had brought this matter to the umpires' attention earlier too.

"I saw that two times happening when I was batting out there," Kohli said. "I pointed it out to the umpire as well, that it's happened twice, that I've seen their players looking upstairs for confirmation, and that's why the umpire was at him.

"When he turned back the umpire knew exactly what was going on, because we observed that, we told match referee also, and the umpires, that they've been doing that for the last three days and this has to stop, because there's a line that you don't cross on the cricket field, because sledging and playing against the opponents is different, but… I don't want to mention the word, but it falls in that bracket. I would never do something like that on the cricket field."

When asked if the word he didn't want to mention was "cheating", Kohli replied: "I didn't say that, you did."

Smith's version of events was different. "I got hit on the pad and looked down to Petey and he said look up there," Smith said. "So I turned around and it was a bit of a brain fade on my behalf. I shouldn't have done that.

"I was looking at our boys, so shouldn't have done that and it was a bit of a brain fade."

Writing on Twitter after the match, Handscomb accepted the blame for the incident. "I referred smudga to look at the box... my fault and was unaware of the rule," he wrote. "Shouldn't take anything away from what was an amazing game!"

Kohli, though, refused to accept Smith's explanation. "Honestly, if someone makes a mistake while batting, for me, personally, that's a brain fade," Kohli said. "The way I left the ball in Pune, you know, getting hit on the off stump. That was a brain fade. But if something is going on for three days, then that's not a brain fade, as simple as that.

"I don't want to say more on that, videos are out there for everyone to see. It was getting repetitive, that's why the umpires also knew that it might happen again. I saw it two times when I was batting, I can vouch for that."

The official BCCI Twitter handle, though, went on to say more. It tweeted the video of Smith's dismissal, the accompanying tweet wondering if the full form of DRS was "dressing room review system".

Smith denied that his side used help from the dressing room as a DRS tactic. He insisted his dismissal was the first time he looked up to the dressing room. "No, I think that's probably the first time it's happened, and it was a brain fade on my behalf," he said.

There were an increasing number of verbal exchanges throughout the Test. Smith admitted to there being a "white line fever", but he felt the match was played "in good spirit".

"Australia and India playing, there's always emotions flying around and we get a little bit of white line fever every now and then," Smith said. "As long as it's kept on the field it's all good. There's always interesting banter between the two teams, and I think it makes it a great contest."

Kohli also hit back at former Australia wicketkeeper, Ian Healy, who had earlier criticised Kohli's behaviour during Australia's first innings, particularly when Smith was at the crease.

"I'm losing respect for him. He's not only now continuing his disrespect of the Australian players and umpires, but I think he's putting pressure on his own players," Healy told radio station SEN on Monday. "The stuff he did with Steve Smith was unacceptable.

"There's massive cracks showing in [Kohli]. I've said in the past he's the best batsman I've ever seen. His feistiness and real aggression towards the opposition has been good [in the past], especially when he wasn't captain."

Kohli responded by pointing out Healy's reaction to being wrongly given out in the Centurion Test in 1997 - swearing as he walked off, Healy then threw his bat while climbing the steps to the dressing room.

"[I'll lose respect] in his eyes?" Kohli asked dismissively. "We've got 1.2 billion people in India. One person doesn't make a difference to my life. And also I think you should go and search on YouTube, when he was given out in Centurion, down the leg side. I heard he said something about me not having good behaviour with umpires - I think you all should YouTube that video and I think, yeah, that says it all. Just see that video and next time you ask me the same question."

Melinda Farrell is a presenter with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • baobab2092502 on March 10, 2017, 18:57 GMT

    "Brain fade?" Weasel words, Smithy. Take the shame.

  • subodh on March 9, 2017, 20:22 GMT

    Virat is embarassingly hyper.

  • Mrcriccanada on March 9, 2017, 13:59 GMT

    Is reviewing after watching it on big screen fair? Just wondering...

  • ram4fr9677970 on March 9, 2017, 12:42 GMT

    What happened to SA captain on last tour of Australia?. is this Ausi media and fans kind to him?. Smith cautiously looking at dressing room and asking him to help on decision making. So its happening long time. How Kholi can allow this and be humble to Ausi. Indian team not reported this to ICC!. So please understand that Indian team very kind and welcoming. otherwise Smith should not allowed to play next match at least?. This DRS help will change the result of the match!. its Offensive. Kholi just telling to the media sadly. he should asked team management to reporte to ICC or Match referee officially.

  • Owais on March 9, 2017, 11:09 GMT

    I am a Pakistani and am big fan and supporter of Kohli. He has won our hearts by consistently beating the hell out of our bowlers !!! Initially it was painful but its clear he belongs to another league of cricketers.

  • CricMystique on March 9, 2017, 10:56 GMT

    once the rights and wrongs of who did what are done to death, can we get on with the game plese? a terrific test series in theoffing....and yeah - kohli is getting the crowds to cheer, not to physically/mentally/psychologically/ intimidate the opposition, isnt that clear enough , amazing that some posters are calling this as an act of 'intimidation' or home town advantage etc....seriously....

  • shoaib1034741 on March 9, 2017, 10:07 GMT

    @cricfan I don't think Kohli even cares about winning overseas fans. I don't know if you are Australian or not but if you are then you should know that Australia is the most hated team overseas because of the attitude of most of the Australian players. "Kohli should not mouth off on something he has no evidence of", you don't need evidences for such claims on normal platforms, he wasn't arguing in front of a court of law or an ICC panel, he just felt that they were doing it repeatedly and he spoke his mind out. Also I am not a fan of ABD, just because you know how to be more diplomatic unlike Kohli does not make you humble or more likeable.

  • Arindom on March 9, 2017, 10:00 GMT

    No Abhijeet, Smith can now say that his accepting Handscomb's advice is the 'brain fade' that he was referring to. Semantics offers him a hundred ways to flee the situation now, LOL !! Pls publish cricinfo.

  • Arindom on March 9, 2017, 9:47 GMT

    CRICFAN13200281, I think Smith's exact words included a "perhaps". He didn't say " No -absolutely not, we've only sought Dressing room assistance one time". He said that Australia perhaps did it one time. Moreover, Michael Clarke is not Indian but he says that he finds something wrong that a junior player can Handscomb can suggest dressing-room-reviews to the captain. And not knowing the rules is no excuse. I would like to ask you your reaction if say in the future, someone does a wrong thing thing and then says sorry, but I had a 'brain-fade' LOL! What to be done in such a situation? Having said that, I do have respect for Smith but he should stop having brain-fades henceforth. Pls publish cricinfo

  • Sashank on March 9, 2017, 9:27 GMT

    @cricfan: Publish your comment? There are editors to the job there.

    Besides kindly embrace the individuality. Kohli is not sachin or dravid. He is kohli and he will remain the same.... Let him be what he is..........

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