A major row over ethics in the Australian cricket camp erupted on Tuesday, minutes after India wrapped up a sensational victory in the second Test to draw level in the four-Test series.
Australia skipper Steve Smith, who struggled for once to get his DRS reviews right while the visitors chased a 188-run target on Day 4, was seen looking at the dressing room for indication whether to go for a review after he was declared leg before against Umesh Yadav.
Smith was seen lingering on and the umpire touched his shoulder, indicating that he should be on his way not having called for a review.
At the post-match press conference, Smith refrained from calling him a ‘cheater’. He instead said that it was a ‘brain fade’, saying: “It was a bit of a brain fade on my behalf. I was looking at our boys, and shouldn’t have done that.
“It is probably the first time it has happened. It was probably a brain fade. But it shouldn’t have happened.”
However, Virat Kohli indicated that the Aussies were cheating, although he simply said ‘I didn’t use that word”, when asked if he felt the visitors were illegally trying to get indications from the dressing room before going for the DRS review.
“There are loop holes in every technology. People are bound to make mistakes…. But we take our own decisions, we don’t look for confirmation upstairs.”
When told that Smith had described it as a ‘brain fade’, Kohli dismissed it as an accident. “I saw it happen twice, their players going upstairs (looking at the dressing room). That is why the umpire knew what was happening. We brought it to their attention, and told the match referee. They knew what was going on.
“This is a line you don’t cross. I will never do that.”
India and Australia controversies have boiled over in the past, and none more famous than the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal involving Harbhajan Singh during India’s tour of 2007-8.
But this controversy over ethics is bound to linger on beyond this series.