Australia in India 2017 March 15, 2017

Smith says Kohli comments 'completely wrong'

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'Saying we do it consistently, that's complete rubbish'

Steven Smith has challenged Virat Kohli's suggestion that Australia broke DRS protocols repeatedly in the second Test in Bengaluru, describing some of Kohli's post-match statements as "disappointing" and "completely wrong". Kohli, speaking ahead of the third Test in Ranchi, stood by his claims while remaining elusive about what those claims actually constituted.

After the Test, the BCCI made a complaint to the ICC concerning an incident when Smith looked to the Australian dressing room when considering whether or not to use the DRS on an lbw call, before umpire Nigel Llong intervened. The BCCI withdrew the complaint later on the same day after a meeting between the BCCI and Cricket Australia.

While more than a week has elapsed since India's victory in Bengaluru, Kohli's suggestion that he saw something similarly inappropriate on two occasions other than the Smith lbw has clearly left Smith concerned.

Speaking publicly for the first time since Kohli's press conference, Smith said: "It was a little bit disappointing. I think that obviously I made a mistake and I came out and said that. What I did was wrong and I know that.

"But that was the first time it has happened. I know as a team we don't do that. And I think his comments... I think he said that we did it twice while he was out there. I don't think he was out there long enough for two appeals. He's entitled to his opinion, but from my point of view he's completely wrong."

Kohli refused to elaborate on the specific occasions he had referred to in his post-match remarks, insisting he wanted to move on and focus on the remaining two Tests without any lingering "bad taste". But he was also adamant that his words were not emotionally driven in the wake of an often-heated contest.

"I think about what I say," Kohli said in Ranchi. "I don't regret anything that I've said, but at the same time it's very important not to be stupid and go on with the same things on a daily basis because there's cricket to be played. There was a decent break in between, and we certainly don't' want to sit and think about one issue all the time.

"We have two Test matches to play and that's what we need to focus on. And I think it was a mature decision on everyone's part to move on from that. We've seen instances in the past stretch too long and it just causes disharmony and there's no outcome honestly.

Steven Smith: 'It was an error on my behalf. In regards to saying that we do it consistently, that's complete rubbish in my opinion' © AFP

"We just need to focus on the games that are left. I think it's good for everybody that everyone moves on because you'll always have two sides of the coin; one side will say one thing the other side will say another and that just takes the focus away from the game that we all are sitting here because of. So I think it's best interests of everyone that we move on and focus on the game."

In an exchange with a journalist, Kohli doggedly deflected questions on his post-match comments. As in Bengaluru, Kohli could not be pinned down on the specifics of what he saw on the field.

When asked if it was "appropriate for an international captain make serious allegations like that and not produce evidence to substantiate it", Kohli replied: "What were the allegations?" Pressed further by the journalist, Kohli wanted to know "what is the allegation called", adding that since he was not charged with any violation, what he had said could not be termed an allegation. "Because it has to be called something for me to be questioning something about someone to call it an allegation," he said. "If no charges were pressed against me, how are those allegations?"

Asked once more if he stood by his statement that there were two instances when he was batting when Australia flouted DRS protocols, and told there was no evidence to back this up, Kohli said: "As I said, we need to move on and focus on the game tomorrow and we have two more Test Matches to go. As I said, two sides to the coin, I could be speaking about it again and things are not going to move forward. Everyone sitting here has their own interests and choose to ask what they want to. But our focus remains on the game and we need to look forward."

Smith said he would like to seek clarification from Kohli on his comments when the two captains meet jointly with match referee, Richie Richardson, before play on the first day in Ranchi. Specifically, Smith would like to know which two other incidents Kohli was referring to.

"Perhaps, might be able to ask a few questions. We'll see what the mood's like at the time," Smith said. "Virat obviously stuck by his comments. From my point of view I think they're completely wrong. I came out after the game and said I made a mistake. It was an error on my behalf, I had a brain fade. In regards to saying that we do it consistently, that's complete rubbish in my opinion. I think he was wrong in his statement."

Smith said he had already met with match referee Richardson personally, ahead of Australia's final training session on match eve. He said Richardson made it clear he expected both sides to play within the boundaries of the game so that "cricket was the winner in this Test".

Melinda Farrell is a presenter with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Blackholesun on March 22, 2017, 19:16 GMT

    @volt65 Show me a player who has never gone through a phase experiencing a dip in his form. Better give your advice to Warner who is an average player (context test match) when playing away from home.

  • aziz khan on March 17, 2017, 20:16 GMT

    Smith Is a great batsman whose chief skill is in batting marvelous, AVG 59.32, No country produced such a batsman every body feeling and showing an envious resentment of him for his achievements. Keep it up Smith you are allowed for such a small mistakes you are Rock.

  • NikhilSachdev on March 17, 2017, 11:35 GMT

    @DPRASATH ON MARCH 16, 2017, 14:40 GMT I think you meant Kohli and India instead of Smith and Aussies cause the entire world know Smith accepted and owned the mistake and apologized publically.

  • im123 on March 17, 2017, 3:35 GMT

    thats rich comming for a indian fan dprasath....

  • crkt4evr on March 16, 2017, 23:27 GMT

    so take brain fade as an explanation at this level!!!

  • dprasath on March 16, 2017, 14:40 GMT

    No wonder what Smith said because Aussies never accept their mistakes always blame others they are cry babies.

  • zee2458 on March 16, 2017, 13:39 GMT

    I believe such mistake should be counted as ball temparing which could change the result of the match and smith should be punished as per it ,those who are saying kohli should focus on perform they must remember kohli get india a lot of wins records and runs and he is such type of player who will create many kohlis we must repsect for him more than sachin tendulkar (Pak Fan)

  • sniyer on March 16, 2017, 12:29 GMT

    It is a pity that despite the attempt by both cricketing Boards to close the incident and move on, the matter is yet being discussed. It is not a question of once or twice or three times, but the phrase "brain fade" is a newly coined one and it was a mistake and it is better to admit it and shut one;s mouth than find reasons to counter what Kohli said before the incident. Unfortunately the Australian media wish to continue the discussion and probably Smith has been prompted by their reports to justify his action. Can both the captains publicly shake hands and refuse to make any more statements on the incident.

  • HamzaSalman on March 16, 2017, 11:18 GMT

    " Otherwise why he would quickly stop Smith. Even Virat picked up very quickly what Smith as doing meaning he observed them doing it previously."

    Circumstantial at best. The quickness shown by Long could have easily been due to umpires' knowledge of the rules and how to react if someone glances at dressing room. And Kohli's picking it up quickly is nothing special as international players know (even the fans do that dressing room guidance cannot be sought, so much for Handscombe's risible claim of ignorance to the rule.)

  • volt65 on March 16, 2017, 11:13 GMT

    Smith was wrong but Kohli should focus on his batting and stop telling the umpires how to run the game. His contribution should be runs not comments!!

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