Kolkata: Has a diplomatic Alastair Cook sarcastically held both Virat Kohli and South African captain Faf du Plessis guilty of ball tampering? If one has to go with what the English captain said at Mohali today, it would leave experts guessing. Kohli on the other hand, had refuted all allegations and said it was a ploy to distract his team.
It’s a tale of two captains! One is trailing in the series and looking to make some amends in the third Test at Mohali. The other, ahead in the five-match series, but has been dragged into a ball-tampering allegation out of nowhere. Meet Cook and Kohli. Both have finally have broken their silence and opined on the ball tampering allegations.
Yes, Cook sounded a bit diplomatic and left it to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to promulgate clearer rules regarding ball tampering. “I think the players are just looking for the ICC to clarify what is acceptable and what isn’t. If a guy is chewing a gum or just throwing jelly beans in his mouth at drinks break and then happens to shine the ball in the next over, it becomes a very grey area,” PTI quotes the left-hander. And he also said that if the ICC rule stated that one should not put his finger on the sweet and then on to the ball, then the picture would be clearer. “I don’t know if it helps or not, to be brutally honest.” he pointed out.
Kohli on the other hand refuted claims of the British tabloid that he had resorted to foul means in the Rajkot Test. “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 quoted by PTI.
And he added, “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 focused on what we have to do.” Kohli also added that if he had done anything wrong, then the ICC would have spoken to him.
The Mohali Test begins on Saturday, November 26.