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BCCI backs Kohli as Smith, DRS saga rumbles on

Sporting News logo Sporting News 8/03/2017
India captain Virat Kohli © Getty Images India captain Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has been backed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) following his accusations aimed at Australia and captain Steve Smith over the use of DRS.

India skipper Kohli took aim after his side levelled the four-match Test series at 1-1 in Bangalore on Tuesday, claiming the tourists repeatedly sought off-field assistance to review decisions.

Smith appeared to look up to the Australian dressing room after being trapped lbw by Umesh Yadav before umpire Nigel Llong swiftly intervened, denying him the opportunity to use the DRS and the touring captain later admitted to having a "brain fade".

Kohli – while stopping short of accusing his counterpart of cheating – said similar incidents had occurred, though, adding: "There's a line that you don't cross on the cricket field. I would never do something like that on the cricket field."

Smith was vehemently defended by head coach Darren Lehmann and Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, with the latter labelling questions over Smith and the team's integrity "outrageous".

But the BCCI is equally standing behind Kohli and called for the rest of the series to be played in the true spirit of cricket.

A statement read: "The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after due deliberation and seeing the video replays of the episode steadfastly stands with the Indian Cricket Team and its Captain Mr. Virat Kohli.

"Mr. Virat Kohli is a mature and seasoned cricketer and his conduct on the field has been exemplary. Mr. Kohli’s action was supported by ICC Elite Panel Umpire Mr. Nigel Llong who rushed in to dissuade Mr. Steve Smith from taking recourse to inappropriate assistance.

"BCCI has requested the ICC to take cognizance of the fact that the Australian skipper Mr. Steve Smith in his press conference admitted to a 'brain fade' at that moment.

"BCCI sincerely hopes that the rest of the matches are played in the true spirit of cricket."

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