What’s the story?
In a surprising development to the whole Steve Smith DRS controversy, match referee Chris Broad has responded to Kohli’s claims about the Australian players looking at the dressing room for help with respect to DRS.
Speaking about the incident at the post-match press conference, Kohli claimed: “I saw that two times happening when I was batting out there. I pointed it out to the umpires as well that it has happened twice I have seen their players looking upstairs for confirmation and that's why the umpire was at him.”
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Broad, who was the match referee for the second Test said that umpires have no prior indiscretions by the visitors with regards to their DRS usage. He also went on to add that Smith would not face any penalty because umpire Nigel Llong intervened before any indiscretion was actually committed.
In case you didn’t know…
There was a huge controversy surrounding the dismissal of Steve Smith that has had plenty of people taking sides as Smith decided to look at the dressing room for help before using the DRS after he was dismissed.
On day four of the second Test between India and Australia at Bengaluru, Steve Smith was given out LBW off the bowling of Umesh Yadav. After having a conversation with Peter Handscomb who was at the other end, Smith had a look at the dressing room for help and the move infuriated India’s players, including Kohli who immediately informed the umpire Nigel Llong who told Smith “You can’t do that mate" and sent him to the pavilion.
The incident has certainly drawn plenty of reactions from both sides. While the Australian captain described his actions as ‘brain-fade’, his counterpart accused him of crossing lines “I would never do” on the field. The CEO of Cricket Australia claimed the allegations were “outrageous” while the BCCI have stood by Virat Kohli’s side.
India-Australia games are rarely short of controversies and this one will certainly eat up most of the column inches in the days to come. But it will be interesting to see how Australia bounce back from the defeat in Bengaluru and fare in the third Test at Ranchi on March 16.
The fact that Smith broke the rules is certainly not in doubt, but the match referee’s statements now shed new light on Virat Kohli’s claims that he had seen the Australian players looking to the dressing room on a couple of occasions while batting.
Chris Broad’s statements indicate one of two things. One is that the visiting players did that on a couple of occasions before and it was not deemed to be as serious as the time when Smith was stopped after he was dismissed. The other way of looking at it is to take the statement literally and consider Kohli's claims that Australia did it before as false. Only time will tell what actually transpired and if the series can get back to the action on the pitch and not all the finger-pointing off it.