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Australia round on 'outrageous' Kohli accusations

Virat Kohli's accusations of Steve Smith have prompted a war of words between India and Australia.

News 08 Mar 2017, 13:38 IST
LehmannSmith - cropped
Australia coach and captain Darren Lehmann and Steve Smith

Australia chiefs have launched stern defences of Test captain Steve Smith in the wake of accusations made by India counterpart Virat Kohli surrounding the use of DRS.

Kohli came out swinging after India levelled the series 1-1 in Bangalore on Tuesday, accusing Australia of repeatedly seeking off-field assistance when reviewing decisions.

After being trapped lbw by Umesh Yadav, Smith appeared to look up to the Australian dressing room, in an apparent attempt to seek guidance on whether a review would be worthwhile.

Umpire Nigel Llong swiftly intervened, denying Smith the opportunity to use the DRS, but a disgruntled Kohli went on to claim in his post-match news conference that similar situations had occurred earlier in the match.

Stopping short of accusing Smith directly of cheating, Kohli said: "There's a line that you don't cross on the cricket field. I would never do something like that on the cricket field."

However, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland has laid into the India captain's inference.

"I find the allegations questioning the integrity of Steve Smith, the Australian Team and the dressing room, outrageous," said Sutherland.

"Steve is an outstanding cricketer and person, and role model to many aspiring cricketers and we have every faith that there was no ill-intent in his actions.

"We reject any commentary that suggests our integrity was brought into disrepute or that systemic unfair tactics are used, and stand by Steve and the Australian cricketers who are proudly representing our country."

When asked if his players had ever sought such an advantage, coach Darren Lehmann said: "Never, ever, ever.

"I'm very surprised to hear that, but it's their opinion.

"He [Kohli] has his opinion and we have ours, but at the end of the day we play the game the right way. 

"We've changed the way we want to play, we've obviously changed the side and we're a younger side so I'm pretty pleased with the way we do things now. 

"We've never done any of that, so we'll just get on with the next game."

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