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Virat's claim against our grain: Lehmann

Coach says India skipper's suggestion is wrong and against new agenda of national side

Australia coach Darren Lehmann has vehemently denied allegations from India captain Virat Kohli that the tourists repeatedly looked to gain an unfair advantage during the second Test.

Quick Single: Cheating? Kohli's press conference inference

But rather than fire back at the inflammatory claims from India's skipper, Lehmann has shrugged off the slur as he looks to cultivate a less confrontational, more positive public image of the revamped national team.

"Never, ever, ever," was Lehmann's unequivocal response today when asked if his players made a practice of seeking off-field input for on-field decisions as Kohli alleged at the end of the second Test.

"Very surprised to hear that, but it's their opinion."


"He (Kohli) has his opinion and we have ours, but at the end of the day we play the game the right way.

"We've changed the way we want to play, we've obviously changed the side and we're a younger side so I'm pretty pleased with the way we do things now.

"We've never done any of that, so we'll just get on with the next game."

Kohli's remarkable outburst that followed India's equally newsworthy 75-run victory to level the four-Test series 1-1 has raised as many issues as it aired.

I would never do that on the cricket field: Kohli

In addition to roundly dismissing rival captain Steve Smith's mea culpa for looking to the dressing room as he considered calling for a DRS examination yesterday as a "brain fade", Kohli also took aim at recent remarks from Australia spinner Nathan Lyon and former Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy.

But his most significant assertion was that he had twice seen the Australia team look to the dressing room for guidance on whether or not to call for a review – contrary to the playing conditions for matches in which DRS is used – while he was batting earlier in the Test match.

Quick Single: Smith caught up in DRS controversy

And was so alarmed by what he saw that he raised his concerns with the on-field umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth as well as with ICC match referee Chris Broad during the course of the Test, so they could remain vigilant against the alleged practice.

"I saw that two times happening when I was batting out there," Kohli said post-match. "I pointed it out to the umpires, that it's happened twice and I have seen their players looking up there for confirmation and that's why the umpire was at him (Smith).

"Because we observed that and we told the match referee as well, and we told the umpires they had been doing that for the last three days and that had to stop."

I shouldn't have done that: Smith

Kohli declined to elaborate on those two instances that he witnessed first-hand when quizzed by an Indian journalist at his post-match media conference.

And examination of ball-by-ball commentary during the combined 59 minutes that Kohli spent at the crease during the second Test (for a match tally of 27 runs) shows only twice did Australia appeal for a wicket, and didn't convene to consider a review on either occasion.

Quick Single: Ex-captains call on ICC to act on Smith

One of those was a half-shout for a catch when Kohli played back to Lyon and the ball lobbed to short leg via his thigh pad, the other came in the second innings when Steve O'Keefe appealed for an lbw against Kohli that was declined and to which the Australians showed no urgency to review.

The only two genuine DRS moments during Kohli's time in the middle as a batter were the pair of unsuccessful reviews the India captain called for upon being given out lbw in both knocks.

The second one, which Kohli believed he had hit before the ball made contact with his pad, led to him making animated gestures to the crowd as he walked off before reportedly venting his displeasure on return to the India dressing room.

Day three: Kohli dismissed in DRS drama

The ICC has yet to respond to inquiries from cricket.com.au as to whether or not Kohli did raise the issue of Australia's alleged breach of the rules with match officials prior to yesterday's incident with Smith.

Which the Australia captain acknowledged was wrong, and added it was "probably the first time it has happened".

Privately, the Australians are stunned by Kohli's accusation and point out that whenever a review is considered by a team on-field, all eyes focus on the captain and others involved in the discussion.

Quick Single: How crossed wires cost Marsh his wicket

And therefore any attempt to glean input from support staff in the dressing room would be blatantly obvious, as was the case with Smith's ill-advised "brain fade" yesterday.

It's also understood Smith's teammates and others in the dressing room were so surprised when he cast his inquiring look their way they immediately froze, with the accompanying instruction "don't anyone move" lest the impression be created they were lending illegal assistance.

But publicly, the tourists are hosing down the incendiary allegations in keeping with the newer, fresher image that Lehmann and Smith are looking to create around a team that has long been seen as often very good, but rarely very gracious.

'YouTube it': Kohli hits back at Healy

Lehmann's message to the current 16-man squad that features just two players (O'Keefe and Shaun Marsh) aged above 30 is to focus on developing their cricket skills rather than get involved in chest thumping and finger pointing.

The former Test batter concedes that he was part of an era when hard-nosed Australia teams won most Tests and tournaments they played, but not quite so many friends with their overtly aggressive on-field persona.

He and Smith are looking to alter that image, to develop a group of cricketers who are able to mix it with the best in the heat of battle but not to be distracted from honing their skills by engaging in unnecessary verbal spats when the temperature rises further.

Quick Single: Ashwin passes Hadlee, Bedi with another five-fer

"I'll say we were very good with the way we went about it in trying to play the game the way that we want to play it," Lehmann said as his team began a four-day mid-tour break before training resumes on Sunday ahead of the third Test starting at Ranchi on March 16.

"Gone are the days when we used to be probably the other way, and I was part of that as an Australian side.

"The young guys, the way they want to portray themselves and encourage people to play the game and enjoy the game has been exceptional.

"So I'm really proud of the way they went about it this game, even though we lost."