Mohali, Nov 25: Indian Test captain Virat Kohli today (November 25) termed the ball tampering allegations against him as a ploy to "shift focus from the series" as "ICC would have spoken to him" had there been any iota of truth in the matter.
At pre-match media conference, Kohli looked prepared with his answer the moment one of the English scribes asked him about the footage that shows him applying saliva to the ball. (Kumble rubbishes ball tampering report)
"I think it's just to take the focus away from the series to be honest. It happened in Australia when South Africa won the series. I'm surprised the issue of what I've been told came up in Rajkot but there was no mention until the result in Vizag," Kohli was polite but the sarcasm in his tone was not lost on anyone as he pointed what it meant to be poor losers.
"To me a newspaper article doesn't matter over the decision of ICC. We as cricketers respect that only. And allegations and speculations? I don't read newspapers so I'm not aware of these things, someone told me and I laughed it off. Some people are trying to take the focus away from the series good luck to them. But we're totally focussed on what we have to do," Kohli said firmly.
However the British journalist was not happy and had a leading question as a follow-up.
"You doing what Du Plessis was doing?" the journalist probed further. "What was I doing?" was Kohli's polite counter-query.
"If was doing something ICC would have spoken to me," he finished it off then and there.
The ICC clearly stated that it's a shut case for them as the alleged incident wasn't reported within the prescribed five-day window which ended on November 18 as the first Test concluded on November 13.
Yesterday, India coach Anil Kumble had categorically rubbished the claims made by a South African broadcaster and picked by a British tabloid.
"We don't give wind to such stories and media can write whatever they want."
Incidentally, Faf du Plessis has appealed against a 100 percent fine on match fee. Du Plessis played his finest Test knock as he scored a hundred amidst boos from the crowd on the first day of the Day/Night Test at Adelaide.