India criticism of Australia captain Smith 'outrageous'

Smith made only 36 runs in his team's defeat in the second Test

Accusations of unfair play by Australia in their Test defeat by India are "outrageous", says Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland.

Australia skipper Steve Smith was seen looking up to his side's dressing room when pondering whether to ask for a review after he was given out lbw.

India captain Virat Kohli said Smith had "crossed the line".

Sutherland said: "We have every faith there was no ill-intent in his actions. Steve's an outstanding person."

Smith, 27, admitted his error and described it as "a bit of brain-fade".

The laws of the game forbid players from consulting with anyone off the field about whether to use the Decision Review System (DRS), given that support staff have access to television replays in the dressing room.

Kohli, 28, said it was not an isolated incident and alleges he saw Australian players looking to the dressing room for DRS assistance on two other occasions while he was batting.

"I pointed that out to the umpire as well that I had seen their players looking upstairs for confirmation," Kohli added.

"We observed that, we told the match referee and the umpire that it's been happening for the last three days and it has to stop."

However, Sutherland replied: "I find the allegations questioning the integrity of Steve Smith, the Australian team and the dressing room, outrageous.

"We reject any commentary that suggests our integrity was brought into disrepute or that systemic unfair tactics are used, and stand by Steve and the Australian cricketers who are proudly representing our country."

India's victory levelled the four-match series at 1-1 and the penultimate Test begins in Ranchi on 16 March.

Meanwhile, all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will return home from the tour of India with a shoulder injury and a replacement is expected to be announced in due course.

BBC

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