CRICKET: Should Virat Kohli fail to produce evidence to back up his claims that Australia is guilty of systemic cheating, he should be sacked as captain and banned for as long as the rules allow.
That's the explosive opinion of one Indian journalist who has come down hard on Kohli's incredible press conference after the controversial second-Test victory in Bengaluru.
"If there is no conclusive evidence of the sort of behaviour that was caught on camera when Smith was mulling a review after his dismissal, the match referee should impose the severest possible punishment on Kohli," wrote Mukul Kesavan for NDTV.
"He should be banned for the maximum number of games that the rulebook allows.
"A captain who shoots his mouth off at a press conference is bad enough; one who accuses a rival captain of systematic dishonesty without the evidence to back it up should be tarred and feathered.
"The BCCI, instead of trolling the Australians - the official BCCI Twitter account tweeted "DRS - Dressing room review system?" - should sack Kohli and reduce him to the ranks."
The NDTV article was extreme in its viewpoint, but firm in its belief that Kohli had overstepped the mark - even if his claims can be backed up.
"Let's be clear about what the enormity of what was said at this press conference," it explained.
"The Indian captain accused his Australian counterpart and the Australian team of systematic and chronic sharp practice in their use of the Decision Review System, though he didn't use the word "cheat" or "cheating".
"Kohli was almost certainly in breach of ICC regulations when he went nuclear in the press conference.
"There must be a protocol for airing match-related grievances - lodging a formal complaint with the match referee etc. - which Kohli ignored and he should be sanctioned for this.
"But now that he has made this charge, it has to be transparently investigated and publicly resolved."
The Smith-Kohli showdown, and the flashpoint of Smith's dressing room DRS consultation, dominated the press coverage in India.
The Indian Express went the furthest, suggesting there were suspicions within the Indian camp that Australia was using underhanded DRS tactics during the Pune Test.
"But sources in the Indian team told The Indian Express that they believe the Australians have a designated person in the dressing room who, after watching the live feed on TV, communicates his advice to the players on the field," the article explained.
"Sources said that after the first Test in Pune, which India lost, there was growing suspicion in the Indian camp that the Australians were bending the DRS rule, but did not have video evidence to back their claims."
Indian great VVS Laxman has caused Australia more hurt than most over the years - no one can forget his majestic 281 at Eden Gardens - and he delivered another stinging spray in the wake of the Smith debacle.
"VVS Laxman would be the last person to get upset by some incident on a cricketing field," opened a report by Tribute India.
"On Tuesday, though, the genial former India batsman was livid after Australia skipper Steve Smith sought help from the dressing room to decide if he should review his lbw decision."
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