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NEW DELHI: Australia captain Steve Smith has reignited the DRS controversy that erupted during the hotly contested Test series against India earlier this year saying the claims made by his counterpart Virat Kohli regarding his team’s systematic abuse of review system as ‘rubbish’.
In an interview to ESPNcricinfo, Smith claimed he was surprised at the turn of events after he was given out lbw in the 2nd Test in Bangalore when Australia were chasing 188 on a difficult track. Smith was batting with Peter Handscomb and after a brief discussion with his batting partner, he turned towards the team’s dressing room following which he was asked to leave by on-field umpire Nigel Long.
India went on to win the Bangalore Test by 75 runs and Kohli then accused the touring Australians of repeatedly looking towards the dressing room for assistance in whether to pursue the DRS for reviews, which as per the ICC rules is not allowed.
Cricket boards of both the countries had come out in open support of their captains. While Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland termed Kohli’s accusation as ‘outrageous’, BCCI in a release said that it ‘steadfastly stands’ with Kohli and the Indian cricket team.
“It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised what a talking point it had become, fuelled by Kohli’s post-match claims that we’d called on off-field assistance twice earlier in the match to help our on-field deliberations,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Smith as writing in his book, The Journey.
“As far as I was concerned, we’d never tried to consult with the dressing room beforehand and although he said he’d brought those previous occasions to the notice of the umpires, I can say categorically that we were never spoken to by either those umpires or match referee Chris Broad about any such breaches in protocol.
Smith has also expressed disappointment at how an on-field exchange between Ravindra Jadeja and Matthew Wade was played up by the BCCI which seemed to give only one sided view of what was happening on the field.
“It was an example of the banter that took place on the field, but it gave a very one-sided view of what was happening. There would have been plenty of examples that could have been released of Indian players engaging with me and my team, such as when they were constantly in the ears of Matt Renshaw when he resumed his first innings in Pune having had to retire ill because of diarrhea. Ian Gould asked Matthew and Ravindra to cut it out in Dharamsala and that was where it ended. So to rake it up in the way that it was benefited no-one,” Smith wrote in his book.
Australia stunned India in the opening Test in Pune to take 1-0 lead in the four-match series in February. India then won the second (Bengaluru) and the fourth Test (Dharamsala) to clinch the series 2-1.