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Smith labels Kohli's DRS claims 'complete rubbish'

India and Australia's governing bodies have tried to smooth over a DRS row, but Steve Smith and Virat Kohli show few signs of backing down.

News 16 Mar 2017, 12:53 IST
Virat Kohli Steve Smith - cropped
A composite image of Virat Kohli (L) and Steve Smith (R)

Steve Smith has described India captain Virat Kohli's claim that Australia sought on more than one occasion to bend the rules of the Decision Review System as "complete rubbish".

The war of words between the two teams rumbled on ahead of the third Test, which starts in Ranchi on Thursday, after Kohli claimed Australia contravened the guidelines around using DRS by furtively seeking advice from the dressing room during their defeat in Bengaluru.

Smith acknowledged he had done so once, claiming it was an accident, but Kohli suggested in his post-match comments it was not the only instance of the tourists seeking an unfair advantage.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India submitted a complaint to the International Cricket Council but then withdrew it amid conciliatory talks with Cricket Australia, the ICC confirming no action will be taken against the visiting team.

India's skipper, while welcoming the attempts to smooth over the issue, has continued to stand by his remarks.

"I think about what I say. 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," he said.

"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."

Kohli, though, did evade persistent attempts by journalists at a news conference to draw specific references to the other moments when Australia allegedly looked to their team-mates and coaches in the stands for guidance.

He replied: "What were the allegations?" 

"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?"

That stubborn position was met with short shrift by Smith when Australia's leader addressed the media.

"Virat obviously stuck by his comments," he said.

"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.

"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."

Australia have lost paceman Mitchell Starc to a fractured foot, while all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has also returned home, a nagging shoulder problem having limited his contribution during the series, with Pat Cummins, set to finally make his second Test appearance and first since 2011, and Marcus Stoinis their respective replacements.

Opener Murali Vijay is likely to return for India after missing the second Test with a shoulder issue, while Hardik Pandya, who did not play in either of the first two matches, has dropped out of the squad, also due to shoulder trouble.

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