India vs Australia 2017: Michael Clarke backs Virat Kohli on Steven Smith's DRS controversy
Former Australian skipper refuses to believe Smith's excuse of suffering a brain fade in Bengaluru.
What’s the story?
Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke has backed Indian captain Virat Kohli’s frank assessment on counterpart Steven Smith’s controversial ploy to use the Decision Review System (DRS) on the fourth day of the second Test in Bengaluru.
“When I was playing I remember having a brain fade when I gloved a ball and did not walk off. So, I don't want to be too judgmental on anybody. If what Virat is saying is true and Australia are using their support staff to help them with DRS then that's not on, it’s completely unacceptable.
”If you look at the footage, Peter Handscomb actually suggested Smith to turn around and look to the support staff. If this was a one-off, I don't think that would have happened”, Clarke told India Today.
He elaborated, “The fact that Handscomb even thought of asking the Australian skipper to turn around and look to the support staff, I've got my concerns. I want to give my opinion but I want to find out more about it. But if Virat is correct and if Australia are using DRS that way, then it is completely unacceptable and it is not a brain fade.”
With DRS being introduced in Tests earlier in this home season, India have had a hard time figuring out the best possible way to use the technology. On the other hand, the Australians are well acquainted with the system after experiencing its intricacies over the last few years.
The heart of the matter
Chasing a formidable first-innings target of 188 on a pitch featuring uneven bounce and sharp turn, the visitors found themselves at 74/3 with Smith at the crease alongside Handscomb. A quick delivery from Umesh Yadav hit a crack and motored inches above the surface to trap the Australian skipper in front.
After the on-field umpire raised his finger, he deliberated with his batting partner and looked to the dressing room for possible hints on whether or not to use the DRS.
Understandably livid with Smith’s tactics, Kohli complained to the umpires who intervened at the right time. He then decided not to take the review and proceeded to leave the arena. Eventually, Ravichandran Ashwin ran through the lower-order to lead India to a memorable 75-run triumph in front of a packed audience at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
What happened next?
The post-match press conference saw both captains share their thoughts on the DRS saga. While Smith termed the entire episode as a ‘brain fade’, Kohli was not amused and insisted that the Aussies were resorting to this ploy right throughout the match.
The nonchalant manner in which Smith and Handscomb looked towards the dressing room indicated that this was not the first time they have been employing such tactics. The umpires as well as the match referee may have a thing or two to say about the controversy.