India skipper Virat Kohli on Tuesday laid into his Australian counterpart Steve Smith, just falling short of accusing the opposition of cheating after the right-hand batsman tried to seek assistance from the dressing room while taking a DRS call.

“I saw that two times (Australia asking assistance from dressing room) when I was batting. I told the umpires then, which is why they intervened this time. We told the match referee as well,” Kohli told reporters on a day when India registered a thrilling 75-run victory.

“We (India) make sure we don’t cross the line. Sledging and all is one thing, I don’t want to use the word, but this falls under that bracket. I wouldn’t do something like this on the cricket field,” he added.

“There are loopholes in every tech and system. People are bound to make mistakes. The call made on the field stays. Benefit of the doubt used to go the batsman. But that has gone out of the window. We have also not been that consistent with the right DRS calls. But one thing has remained constant with us that we don’t go upstairs for DRS calls.”

The incident took place in the second session of the day with Australia on 67 for two. Smith was caught in front of the stumps by Umesh Yadav. Smith was contemplating a DRS referral, and went to speak with the non-striker. But he did not stop there and then looked towards the dressing room for help. The umpires though intervened. Kohli, too, stepped in to have a chat. According to the ICC guidelines, the decision to ask for a referral has to be taken on the field and no help should come from the dressing room. Smith eventually walked off without calling for the DRS.

Addressing the incident after the game, Smith admitted that it was a “brain fade” and he should not have done it. Kohli, however, was not kind in his review of the explanation.

“Someone makes a mistake while batting, that’s a brain fade. Like how I got out in Pune, when I left the ball that hit the off stump, that’s a brain fade. But if something is happening for three days, that’s not a brain fade. It was getting repetitive, which is why the umpires intervened. I saw it happen twice when I was batting, I can vouch for that.”

The Test in Bengaluru has seen plenty of heated exchanges on the field. Smith has been at the center of most of them.

Kohli also used the opportunity to take a swipe at Nathan Lyon, who had taken eight wickets in the first innings. “Virat is a world class batter so we expect him to bounce back. But he is the head of the snake and if you can take that, the body will fall away. It was pretty pleasing to take Virat’s wicket,” Lyon had said then.

Kohli used the reference to hit back, adding that India used Australian focus on him against them.

“There was a lot of talk about the (chopping off the) head of the snake. The whole team performed well; the snake can sting in a lot of directions. This was the best win, very emotional and draining.

“If they are saying everywhere that one they get me (virat), the team will fall apart. I told the team, that this is their opportunity to prove them wrong. I am someone who is not fazed by failures. I like to learn with them. We knew their focus was on this aspect. We addressed this in the team meeting and decided that let them focus on this and not worry about other players. That is exactly what happened in the Test. They played into our hands.”

“One person’s opinion doesn’t matter”

Reacting to Ian Healy’s statement that he had stated that he was “losing respect” for Kohli due to his constant sledging, the Indian captain gave back to the former Australian wicket-keeper, asking people to revisit videos of Healy, who was known to say more than a word or two on the field.

“He should look at his own video when he was given out at Centurion. You need to go and search on YouTube when he was given out down the leg side – I heard he said something about me not having a good behaviour with the umpires. I think you should YouTube that video and I think it says it all. 1.2 billion people in India. One person’s opinion doesn’t matter,” Kohli said.