The controversy surrounding the recently-concluded Bengaluru Test between India and Australia simply refuses to die down, even after a patch-up between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia (CA), following the 'brain fade' episode.
Now, an Australian newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, has alleged that Indian captain Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble misbehaved during the Bengaluru Test after Kohli was given out lbw in the second innings.
"In addition to his relentlessly aggressive on-field behaviour, it can be revealed he unleashed an astonishing outburst in the dressing rooms following his dismissal, smashing a Gatorade bottle off a table, where it then rebounded off a television and struck an Australian team official on the leg," wrote the Australian daily.
It went on to add that Kohli had sweared in the direction of the Australian box while leaving the ground and also made a throat-splitting gesture while giving a send-off to Australian batsman Peter Handscomb.
Relations between the two team threatened to fall apart when Steve Smith, after being given out on the field in the second innings with the match on a knife's edge, cheekily tried to seek advice from the dressing room on whether to use the remaining DRS review. An alert umpire Nigel Llong prevented the Australian captain from committing the act of utter dishonesty, but the incident left the Indians fuming, though Smith had sought to play it down, saying it was a 'brain fade'.
"I saw that happening two times when I was batting out there. I pointed it out to the umpire as well, that it’s happened twice, that I’ve seen their players looking upstairs for confirmation," a visibly angry Kohli said at the post-match press conference. "I don’t want to mention the word, but it falls in that bracket. I would never do something like that on the cricket field," Kohli added, stopping just short of describing Smith's action as 'cheating'. Handscomb, who was Smith's partner on the ground at the moment, had later admitted to have a hand in Smith's 'brain fade' moment.
The BCCI subsequently filed an official complaint with the International Cricket Council (ICC) against Smith and Handscomb, and the controversy also had former players from both countries weighing in. For some time, relations between the two teams looked to have plummeted close to the level witnessed during India's 2007-08 tour Down Under, which was marred by the 'Monkeygate' controversy and allegations of violations of sportsman spirit.
The BCCI, however, withdrew its complaint after CA CEO James Sutherland met his Indian counterpart Rahul Johri and the two associations put out a joint statement pledging to "restore focus on the ongoing series".
The Daily Telegraph report also claimed India were running a "brazen" campiagn to ruin Australia's integrity and Kohli the main aggressor. It also went to the extent of likening Kohli with the "villainous" former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga.
"The spirit of the game notion has been pronounced dead in the game many times before, but Kohli — a law unto himself — would appear to have killed it off once again with his behaviour," the Australian daily rambled on, indicting the ICC for giving a "green light for complete anarchy" by not taking action against Kohli.
Aside from Kohli, the article didn't spare Indian coach Anil Kumble as well. Kumble, the article claimed, went to seek immediate clarification from match referee Chris Broad on why Kohli was given out at such an important moment in the match. It accuses Kumble to have been "one of the main instigators of the Monkeygate fiasco" and said he had gone back to being the "puppeteer behind the scenes".
The article said it was unusual for international coaches to visit officials mid-match to seek clarifications and it appeared "indicative of India’s overall attitude that they can dictate to the law makers of the game".
Former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy had said he was "losing respect" for Kohli for his constant sledging of the Australians in the Bengaluru Test, adding that Kohli's on-field behaviour is putting pressure on his teammates.
The daily termed the BCCI's defence of Kohli farcical and that Kohli's claim that the Australians were systematic cheats was yet to be backed up by video evidence.
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Updated Date: Mar 11, 2017 15:23:15 IST