Australian skipper Steve Smith accused his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli of talking “absolute rubbish” on Wednesday despite efforts to bring an end to the archrivals’ bitter war of words.
After Kohli said on the eve of the third Test that he had no regrets about accusing Australia of systematically abusing the decision review system (DRS) in their last match in Bangalore, Smith angrily denied that he was guilty of more than a momentary lapse.
Although the International Cricket Council is to hold talks to clear the air between the two men, the new exchanges are likely to complicate their efforts to broker peace between the top two-ranked Test teams.
Kohli’s accusations last week plunged the teams’ often tense ties back into crisis mode, with Australia’s board calling his comments “outrageous”, prompting an equally robust response from the Indian camp.
Speaking to reporters before the third Test in Ranchi, Kohli said his focus was on the cricket but he refused to recant the claims he made against Smith.
“I don’t regret anything that I have said but at the same time it’s very important not to be stupid and go on about the same thing on a daily basis,” he said.
India were furious when Smith was spotted looking up at his dressing room for guidance in Bangalore on whether to seek a review of the umpire’s decision after being given out lbw — a clear breach of the DRS rules.
Although Smith described the incident on the fourth and final day as a one-off, Kohli said after the match that it had been going on for days.
Asked on Wednesday about Kohli’s latest comments, Smith said he was keen to move things on — but still snapped back at his counterpart.
“Virat obviously stuck by his comments. From my point of view, they are completely wrong.”
After the match in Ranchi, the series reaches its climax in Dharamsala in a match starting on March 25.