#INDvAUS: Virat Kohli's claims 'absurd and offensive': Aus asst coach – Saker said the fact that they were being called cheats was offensive to them. "It's really offensive," Saker said.
Virat Kohli (AFP)
Australia's assistant coach David Saker has labelled India captain Virat Kohli's accusations of cheating by the Australian team as "absurd" and "offensive".
Kohli said the Australian players were repeatedly seeking inputs from their dressing room in respect to Decision Review System (DRS) referrals after Steve Smith and Peter Handscomb did that in the final day of the second Test here.
But Saker laughed off those allegations, saying it was the Australian team management that was, in fact, horrified when Smith turned towards them after being given LBW.
"It's pretty much absurd I think," Saker told the Australian media on Thursday. "When Steven Smith did look up, we were more horrified than anyone else because we'd never seen that before. We haven't got any elaborate sign system and when he did do that, it was quite a surprise to us."
Saker said the fact that they were being called cheats was offensive to them. "It's really offensive," Saker said. "Probably the worst thing you can be called is cheats, that's an offensive thing. We've never done anything like that and we never will. You should have to back up what you say," he added.
The former England bowling coach further negated Kohli's allegations by saying that if they were indeed giving inputs to their players in the middle, they wouldn't have made two DRS howlers in David Warner and Shaun Marsh in the second innings of the second Test.
"If we have got this sign system then we got it wrong quite horribly, twice, with (David) Warner and (Shaun) Marsh I don't know what he (Kohli) is thinking when he says that, or if he sees what he sees on the balcony, but I can assure you in all my time in cricket I've never seen it happen," he said.
Saker also held Handscomb equally responsible for the incident when he asked Smith to turn around towards their dressing room.
"All the non-striker has to do is give his opinion. If Peter Handscomb told Steve Smith to look up to us, that was another brain fade. That was just one big mistake from both batsmen," he said.
Respect for Kohli
Former Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy might have lost respect for Virat Kohli, but the current Australian team has plenty of that for the India captain, despite the bad blood between the two teams at the moment. "We respect him as a player, he's an amazing player and his passion and the way he wanted to get his team up was quite evident out on the ground," Saker said. "There are times when you think he might have crossed the line, but a lot of teams have done that, and leaders have done that," he added.
We're not cheating: Handscomb
Australia batsman Peter Handscomb reiterated that he was unaware of the DRS rules. "I was just completely unaware that you couldn't do that," Handscomb said. "But now I know. I've been well and truly informed." He added: "It's still new in my international career, so I haven't had a lot to do with the DRS and I'm now a lot more familiar with it." The middle-order batsman said despite what Virat Kohli feels, they know they have not cheated during this series. "We know what we've been doing, and we know that we're definitely not cheating," he said.