Smith is a cheat.. Kohli almost says it

BENGALURU: Indian captain Virat Kohli on Tuesday stirred up a major controversy by virtually accusing the Australian captain Steve Smith of cheating in the usage of DRS, flaring up the tensions between the two sides.

"We have been inconsistent with the DRS but we take our decisions on the field, we don't ask for confirmation from the dressing room," a sarcastic Kohli let it rip after India's 75-run win in the second Test.

"I have seen it twice while batting. I have seen their players looking upstairs (dressing room). I told the umpires, this had to stop. 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," he added.

Asked if he was accusing the Australian team of cheating, Kohli retorted, "I have not said that either."

It was the 21st over of the Australian second innings, which collapsed to 112.

Smith was trapped LBW by pacer Umesh Yadav and having already blown a DRS call, involving David Warner, the Australians were in a fix on whether to go for another referral.

Smith first turned to the non-striker's end to seek an opinion within the mandated 15 seconds. But sparks flew when the umpires noticed that the batsman had turned towards the dressing room as well to get a clue.

The on-field officials immediately intervened to stop Smith but matters came to a head when Kohli too joined the discussion, leading to an exchange between him and the rival captain.

Rules pertaining to the usage of DRS clearly state that "signals from dressing room must not be given".

In the post-match press conference, Smith sought to douse the fire, calling his actions a "brain fade" and something he shouldn't have done.

But Kohli was in no mood to relent and claimed that this was not the first time the Australians had sought dressing room instructions on DRS calls.

"I can only say, if it happens more than twice, it's not brain fade," he said.

Smith and Kohli had a brief but charged-up exchange of words before the former walked back to the pavillion. Smith played down that exchange as well, calling it "just banter".

Kohli was spoken to by the umpires after Smith's departure.

The two captains have had their fair share of run-ins during the series, frequently exchanging barbs on the ground.

India versus Australia Test matches have never been short of controversies with one dating back to 1981.

The famous victory at MCG was marred by a controversy when Sunil Gavaskar had staged a walkout after being adjudged leg-before to a Dennis Lillee delivery.

It was a remark by Lillee that led to a furious Gavaskar forcing his opening partner Chetan Chauhan to walk out with him.

The tied Test in Madras in 1986 saw umpire V Vikramraju's leg before decision off Greg Matthews to Maninder Singh questioned by members of the Indian team. In fact one senior India player had gone to the umpire's room to give Vijram Raju an earful.

During the historic 2001 series, Sourav Ganguly repeatedly kept his opposite number Steve Waugh waiting for the toss during all three Test matches, something that did not go down well with the Australian team.

The biggest of them all was the infamous 'Monkeygate' scandal during 2007-08 series in Sydney involving Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds.

Symonds had accused Harbhajan of calling him "monkey" which is considered a racial abuse Down Under. An enquiry commission was set up where Harbhajan was acquitted of charges made by the Australian cricket team.

The match was marred by debatable umpiring decisions and erstwhile skipper Anil Kumble's now iconic quote: "Only one team played in spirit of the game".

Kumble was applauded by the Indian media contingent who then engaged in a war of words with the then Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting.

Not to forget Zaheer Khan taking a sly dig at Ricky Ponting in Mohali in 2010 after running him out. Zaheer just called him "Usain Bolt" before Ponting came back to have a word with him.