Bangalore - Australia's
and India's cricket boards sprang to the defence of their respective
captains on Wednesday amid a spiralling war of words that soured the
aftermath of the dramatic second Test.
India's 75-run victory on
Tuesday in Bangalore, after Australia crashed to 112 all out, has left
the four-match series between the world's top two sides tantalisingly
poised at 1-1.
But Wednesday's headlines were dominated by Indian
skipper Virat Kohli's accusation that Steve Smith abused the decision
review system (DRS), after he was seen looking to the Australian
dressing-room while considering appealing against his dismissal for lbw.
rules forbid players to consult with anyone off the pitch about whether
to seek a review from the umpires, particularly as support staff have
access to television replays in the dressing-room.
post-match press conference, Smith - who was quickly waved off the
field by the umpire - admitted he had been at fault, but put it down to
a one-off "brain-fade".
But an angry Kohli said that rather than being an isolated incident, "it's been happening for the last three days".
Kohli stopped short of accusing Smith of being a cheat, Indian
newspapers were less diplomatic. "Smith Caught Cheating," said an Indian
Express headline while The Times of India dubbed the episode
Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland said any questioning of Smith's integrity was "outrageous".
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," said Sutherland, who was in Bangalore.
Lehmann also threw his weight behind Smith, saying the current crop of
tourists was well aware of their responsibilities after previous spats
between the two teams.
"He (Kohli) has his opinion and we have
ours, but at the end of the day we play the game the right way," Lehmann
said on Cricket Australia's website.
Amid a clamour among former
Indian players for Smith to be sanctioned, the Indian board (BCCI) said
it had raised his behaviour with the International Cricket Council while
launching its own defence of Kohli.
"Mr. Virat Kohli is a mature
and seasoned cricketer and his conduct on the field has been exemplary,"
the BCCI said in a statement.
"BCCI has requested the ICC to take
cognizance of the fact that the Australian skipper Mr. Steve Smith in
his press conference admitted to a 'brain fade'.
"BCCI sincerely hopes that the rest of the matches are played in the true spirit of cricket."
cause was not helped when his predecessor Michael Clarke voiced doubt
over whether it was really a one-off, given that the non-striker Peter
Handscomb seemed to suggest he consult the dressing-room.
Virat Kohli is saying is true and Australia are using their support
staff to help them decide on a DRS decision then that's not on, that's
unacceptable," Clarke told the India Today network.
"I think Steve
Smith respects the game and will always uphold the integrity of the
game and if it is just a one-off then it is a brain-fade and he's made a
"My concern, my worry is, that when you look at the
footage at what happened, Peter Handscomb... actually suggests to Steve
Smith to turn around and have a look to the support staff.
"Now if it is only a one-off, I don't think that would have happened."
Steve Waugh, another former Australian captain, said Smith would "probably be embarrassed" by what had happened.
he can't do that, and it's not in the spirit of the game. I've just got
to believe him when he says it was a one off and it was an honest
mistake," Waugh told reporters in Delhi.
While there was no word
from the ICC, record-breaking Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar said Smith
should be punished for a "quite blatant" breach of the rules.
row is the latest in a series of spats between the teams in recent
years, including in the 2008 Sydney Test when Indian spinner Harbhajan
Singh was accused of calling Andrew Symonds a monkey.
The next Test begins in Ranchi on March 16.