Tensions soar on pitch

Tensions soar on pitch

Kohli peeved over Smith's use of help for DRS

Tensions soar on pitch

 After a largely incident-free first Test in Pune, things began to crack on the second day of the second match before temperatures between India and Australia soared to a boiling point on the fourth day here on Tuesday.

While the usual bantering, exaggerated celebrations and send-offs and exchange of cold stares from either side seemed par for the course, what got India’s goat was Steven Smith’s deliberate attempt to seek help from his team-mates in the change room to make an “informed” DRS call when he was given out LBW by umpire Nigel Llong off Umesh Yadav.

Llong noticed Smith in the “act” and stopped him from doing so. At the same time an angry Virat Kohli and a few other Indians approached Llong, clearly disapproving Smith’s behaviour. The Australian skipper walked off without reviewing the original decision.

It was clearly unbecoming of a captain of a national team but Smith tried to wriggle out of the embarrassing situation by attributing his behaviour to moment of “brain fade.” 

“Obviously I got hit on the pad and looked down to (Peter) Handscomb and he said look out there. Then I just turned around (to look at my boys) and said what do you reckon? It was a bit of brain fade on my behalf. I shouldn't have done that.”

Kohli, however, wasn’t in a mood to let go of things. He alleged that he had noticed the Australians do so at least twice in the match while he was batting and that India had complained about it to both on-field umpires and match referee.  

“I had pointed it out to the umpires it’s happened twice and that’s why the umpire was at him,” Kohli said when asked about Smith’s brain fade comment. “When he turned back the umpire knew exactly what was going on, because we had observed that and we told match referee also that they’ve been doing that for the last three days and this has to stop, because there’s a line that you don’t cross on the cricket field. Sledging and playing against the opponents is different, but… I don’t want to mention the word, but it falls in that bracket. I would never do something like that on the cricket field,” Kohli observed.

Kohli was asked by an Australian journalist if the word he didn’t want to mention was cheating. “I didn’t say that. You did,” replied Kohli.

While playing down his controversial dismissal after inconclusive DRS replays in the second innings, Kohli rubbed it in further saying he didn’t take help of “others” while taking reviews.