Australian batsman Peter Handscomb has finally admitted his fault. The 25-year-old right-hander had suggested his skipper Steve Smith to refer to the dressing room after being adjudged leg before wicket off Umesh Yadav on Day 4 of the second Test in Bengaluru, which India won by 75 runs. Smith's action did not go down well with rival captain Virat Kohli, who said that he would "never do something like that on cricket field".
Post midnight, it was Handscomb, who took to Twitter to defend his captain and take the blame for what Smith has termed as a "brain fade". Handscombe said he did not know the rules pertaining to DRS referral.
"I referred smudga to look at the box... my fault and was unaware of the rule. Shouldn't take anything away from what was an amazing game!" Handscomb tweeted.
I referred smudga to look at the box... my fault and was unaware of the rule. Shouldn't take anything away from what was an amazing game!— Peter Handscomb (@phandscomb54) March 7, 2017
Even former Australia captain Michael Clarke said that it was Handscomb who had suggested Smith to turn around while making it clear that he finds this move "unacceptable".
"I want to find out from the Australian team if they're using the DRS in that way. If they are then that is unacceptable," Clarke told India Today.
"My concern and my worry is that when you look at the footage of what happened with Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb.... actually suggests to Steve Smith to turn around and have a look at the support staff.
"If it is only a one-off, I don't think that would have happened. The fact that Peter Handscomb is even thinking about telling the Australian captain to turn around and look to the support staff, I've got my concerns."
Kohli on his part had said: "We have been inconsistent with the DRS but we take our decisions on the field, we don't ask for confirmation from the dressing room. I have seen it twice while batting. I have seen their players looking upstairs (dressing room). I told the umpires, this had to stop. 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."
Former India captains Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly were also critical of Smith's actions.
"I don't think that was in the spirit of the game. We have to see what the ICC and match referee do. I have not seen other earlier incidents but I saw it clearly when Smith did that today, he was clearly gesturing to the dressing room," Gavaskar told NDTV.
Ganguly also demanded action from authorities.
"The umpires and match referee must ensure this doesn't happen in future," Ganguly said.
(With inputs from PTI)