Steve Smith rubbishes Virat Kohli in new book, reopens ‘brain fade’ row
Australia cricket team skipper Steve Smith, in his book ‘My Journey’ released Wednesday, slammed Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli for saying the visiting side were habitual offenders during the ‘brain fade’ row.Updated: Oct 27, 2017 10:48 IST
Australia cricket captain Steve Smith has reopened old wounds by targeting Indian counterpart Virat Kohli in the ‘brain fade’ row over his seeking dressing room help for DRS review that marked a real low in their Test series in February-March.
Smith, in his book ‘My Journey’ released on Wednesday, slammed Kohli for saying the visiting side were habitual offenders in an issue that saw both Boards briefly ranged behind their players before truce was called.
Smith enjoyed rich form in the series won 2-1 by India, but faced embarrassment in the Bangalore Test after being asked to leave the crease by the umpire on his dismissal during Australia’s second-innings collapse. The Aussie skipper had stopped and looked towards the dressing room while deliberating whether to seek a DRS referral.
In the post-match media conference, Smith admitted it was ‘brain fade’ on his part. However, Virat Kohli claimed the Aussies were habitual offenders and he had already alerted the umpires when the Smith incident happened. Cricket Australia CEO James Surtherland attacked the Indian skipper for questioning Smith’s integrity while BCCI lodged a complaint with ICC over Smith’s behaviour. The two boards then agreed to step back.
Smith has in fresh comments said Kohli ‘invented claims of systematic DRS abuse by the visiting team’, according to ESPNCricinfo.
Australia had stunned India by 333 runs in Pune, but India won the second Test in Bangalore after the visitors collapsed for 112 in the second innings.
Smith, who top-scored with 28, was given out leg before off Umesh Yadav and batting partner Peter Handscomb asked him to look towards the dressing room, apparently for a signal whether he should review, which is illegal under DRS protocols. Kohli approached umpire Nigel Llong, who then asked Smith to leave.
Smith, in his book ‘My Journey’, rubbished Kohli’s claims.
“It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised what a talking point it had become, fuelled by Kohli’s post-match claims that we’d called on off-field assistance twice earlier in the match to help our on-field deliberations.
“As far as I was concerned, we’d never tried to consult with the dressing room beforehand, and although he said he’d brought those previous occasions to the notice of the umpires, I can say categorically that we were never spoken to by either those umpires or match referee Chris Broad about any such breaches in protocol.
“Virat has always been a player who’s thrived in the most intense of environments, and like me he loves a battle and I can only think it was his way of raising the temperature in the series in an attempt to get the best out of himself. The idea of getting messages from the sidelines for that purpose was not a tactic we as a team ever spoke about and ... I can’t work out what he was referring to in his remarks.
“There was never anything further on the matter from the ICC and Virat never detailed the incidents he was referring to. And during the brief interactions we had - including at the captain’s briefing for the IPL as that tournament followed the series - he was friendly and it was as if any ill-feeling he may have had over the incident had disappeared. It was and still is all a big mystery to me.”
India won the series, though Kohli averaged a measly 9.2 in five innings before sitting out the final Test due to injury. Smith finished as top-scorer with 499 runs at an average of 71.28, including three centuries.