Former skipper questions Aussie integrity
MICHAEL Clarke believes the key role played by Peter Handscomb in last night's DRS scandal has cast doubts over Australia's adamant claim that the incident was a one-off "brain fade".
Clarke, who was working on the match for broadcaster Star Sports and commentated the drama surrounding Smith's dismissal, later said he has concerns over video replays showing it was Handscomb who first suggested to Steve Smith to look upstairs to the team box for guidance on a referral.
Indian captain Virat Kohli launched a vitriolic tirade at counterpart Smith and the Australians, implying they had cheated on at least three occasions during the Test match by attempting to seek input from the dressing room over DRS referrals.
Former India great Sourav Ganguly also made the bold allegation he has personally witnessed Australia sending men to the stands and instructing them to give DRS signals, with the Star Sports feed in Bangalore on a several second delay.
However, at this stage Kohli has no proof to back up his scandalous claim.
Smith apologised unreservedly for his personal offence, calling it a "brain fade" but he vehemently denied Kohli's explosive allegation that Australia had attempted the tactic on two other occasions during the match while he was batting.
"It's the first time it's happened," Smith said.
Clarke said he wanted to reserve full judgement until more details become clear, however, the former Test skipper says he has concerns over whether Smith's "brain fade" argument is legitimate when Handscomb is shown to be the man who first motions upstairs and encourages his skipper to do the same.
"If you look at the footage, Peter Handscomb actually suggested Smith to turn around and look to the support staff. If this was a one-off, I don't think that would have happened," Clarke said in an interview with India Today.
"The fact that Handscomb has even thought of asking the Australian skipper to turn around and look to the support staff, I've got my concerns.
"...I think Steve Smith respects the game and if it's a one-off, then it's a brain fade.
"I want to find out more about it. But if Virat is correct and if Australia are using DRS that way, then it is completely unacceptable and it is not a brain fade."
Match referee Chris Broad told The Daily Telegraph after play that the umpires had no concerns about any prior indiscretions by the Australians in regards to their DRS usage.
Broad also indicated Smith would not face penalty for the incident, due to the fact umpire Nigel Llong intervened before any indiscretion was actually committed.
Kohli claimed in his extraordinary press conference that the reason Llong was onto the Smith incident so quickly and authoritatively was because he had already alerted the umpires that Australia were using the dressing room tactic earlier in the match.
The allegation from Kohli is that he felt Australia had cheated the DRS system twice during his own batting innings' throughout the match.
Meanwhile, former Indian captain Ganguly called on the ICC to punish Smith for his indiscretion or risk copy-cat attempts across the game - claiming he also saw the practice going on during the match.
"I have seen Australian coaches sending their men to sit in the stands and at times instructing or giving signal to their players what to do on field! That's why we started retaliating," said Ganguly.