Kohli and Smith reignite feud
Just when it seemed the feud between skippers Virat Kohli and Steve Smith had been put to bed by a joint statement from the BCCI and Cricket Australia the pair have sparked a fresh war of words.
Assisted by some probing questions from sections of the press both captains had their say on the DRS scandal, maintaining their entrenched positions.
With both men convinced they are in the right the conflict between the two shows no signs of cooling off.
An already heated contest between India and Australia erupted after Smith was given out leg before during the second Test in Bangalore and looked up to the dressing room for help in making his decision on whether or not to review.
This is in clear contravention of the DRS rules and Kohli rushed over to confront Smith but was cut off by the umpires who sent Smith to the dressing room.
No further action was taken by the officials and Smith apologized after the match admitting he was wrong but in Kohli’s post-match press conference accusations of further instances of such behaviour were leveled at the Australians sparking outrage from the camp.
Smith and a number of members of the Australia team and backroom staff took umbrage at these claims and called for Kohli to apologize.
The India skipper has not recanted and has reiterated his belief that Australia engaged in systematic attempts to gain an unfair advantage on referrals.
Speaking from Ranchi, Smith said of Kohli’s claims: “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.”
When pressed on the issue in Ranchi Kohli would not backtrack but insists he wants to move on from the incident.
The India skipper said: “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. There was a decent break in between, and we certainly don’t’ want to sit and think about one issue all the time.
“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.
“We just need to focus on the games that are left. I think it’s good for everybody that everyone moves on because you’ll always have two sides of the coin; one side will say one thing the other side will say another and that just takes the focus away from the game that we all are sitting here because of. So I think it’s best interests of everyone that we move on and focus on the game.”
The skippers will meet with match referee Richie Richardson ahead of the third Test where Smith indicated he will seek clarification from Kohli on his claims.
Smith added: “Perhaps, might be able to ask a few questions. We’ll see what the mood’s like at the time.
“Virat obviously stuck by his comments. 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.”
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