Thu, Mar 09, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Australia accused of unfair DRS use


Australia captain Steve Smith yesterday faced calls for disciplinary action after a row over alleged cheating overshadowed the second Test against India, with his predecessor Michael Clarke accusing him of “unacceptable” behavior.

India’s dramatic, 75-run victory in Bengaluru on Tuesday left the four-match series between the world’s top two sides poised at 1-1.

However, yesterday’s headlines were dominated by India skipper Virat Kohli’s accusation that Smith abused the decision review system (DRS) after he was seen looking to the Australia dressing-room while considering appealing against his dismissal for LBW.

The game’s rules forbid players to consult with anyone off the pitch about whether to seek a review from the umpires, particularly as support staff have access to television replays in the dressing room.

At the post-match press conference, Smith — who was waved off the field by the umpire — admitted he had been at fault, but put it down to a one-off “brain fade.”

However, Kohli said it was not an isolated incident and “that it’s been happening for the last three days, and it has to stop.”

Although Kohli stopped short of accusing Smith of being a cheat, Indian newspapers were less diplomatic.

“Smith caught cheating,” an Indian Express headline said.

Smith’s explanation was met with widespread skepticism, with even Clarke doubting whether it was a one-off, given the non-striker Peter Handscomb seemed to suggest he consult the dressing room.

“If what Virat Kohli is saying is true and Australia are using their support staff to help them decide on a DRS decision then that’s not on, that’s unacceptable,” Clarke told the India Today network. “I think Steve Smith respects the game and will always uphold the integrity of the game, and if it is just a one-off then it is a brain-fade and he’s made a mistake. My concern ... is that when you look at the footage at what happened, Peter Handscomb ... actually suggests to Steve Smith to turn around and have a look to the support staff.”

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