Ranchi : Australian skipper Steve Smith today rejected Virat Kohli’s insinuation that he repeatedly cheated while taking DRS calls, saying the claims by his Indian counterpart are “complete rubbish”.
The second Test in Bengaluru ended in controversy after Smith was caught looking toward the dressing room balcony for advice on DRS appeal against his dismissal.
“From my point of view I think they’re completely wrong. I obviously came out after the game and said I made a mistake and it was an error on my behalf, it was a brain fade,” Smith said at the pre-match press conference on the eve of the third Test here.
“In regards to saying we do it consistently, that’s complete rubbish in my opinion. I think he was wrong in his statement,” Smith said of Kohli’s allegations that the Aussie skipper had on previous occasions too resorted to taking dressing room’s help on whether to call for a review.
Speaking to the media earlier, Kohli stressed on moving on but maintained that he did not regret what he had said after the Bengaluru game.
“Not from my point of view… Yeah, it’s about moving on on and concentrating on this Test here. It’s been a great series so far, the cricket that’s been played, and hopefully cricket can be the winner out here in the Test match.
“It’s an exciting one, one-all in the series, half way through the series. We’re all excited about this Test and hopefully it can be a good one.”
The ICC did not level any charge against any player after the Test and match referee Richie Richardson will bring both the captains together ahead of penultimate game.
“Perhaps I might be able to ask a few questions. We’ll see what the mood is like at that time. Virat obviously stuck by his comments. I think it will be just similar sort of thing with Richie making sure that cricket is the winner this week,” Smith said.
“I spoke to Richie Richardson and the other umpires just now. Basically they said cricket is the winner in the Test. Both teams turn to play within rules of the game. We always know that a series between Australia and India is fiercely contested.
“It’s between number one and two sides in the world. They understand that, it’s just about playing within the boundaries of the game and making sure that cricket is the winner.
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Nathan Lyon suffered from a split callus on the inside of his right index finger after grabbing eight wickets in the second Test, but Smith said the off-spinner is fit.
“His finger has healed nicely over the last week or so. I’m sure he’ll be fine.”
Australia pace spearhead Mitchell Starc has been ruled out of the series because of a stress fracture but Smith said they have it in their bowling attack to take 20 wickets.
“Obviously, when you lose someone with the class and calibre of Starc, it’s always difficult. But we’re confident that the rest of the bowling group can do the job to take 20 wickets in this Test.
“We have plenty of options here to cover the forced changes of Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Marsh, so we’ll have another look at the wicket tomorrow and we’ll name the team at the toss.
“We’ve got a few options here. Maxwell and Stoinis are obviously different all-rounders. We’ll look at whether we need a bit more pace or another spinning option.”
It appears that Australia will go in with Pat Cummins ahead of Jackson Bird because of his capability to bowl quicker.
“I think (Cummins) has got some good variations. Watching him bowl yesterday he bowled these cutters on the wicket and they were actually ragging (spinning). He’s got some good skills there as well. The extra pace is always nice on there.”
There is also a race between all-rounders Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell for the number six position left vacant by Marsh, who was ruled out with a shoulder injury.
“We’ve got a few options here. Maxwell and Stoinis are obviously different all-rounders. We’ll look at whether we need a bit more pace or another spinning option.