Attempt being made to shift our focus from England series: Kohli on ball-tampering claims

| Updated: Nov 25, 2016 18:57 IST

Mohali (Punjab) [India], Nov.25 (ANI):Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli on Friday categorically rubbished the ball-tampering allegations levelled against him, saying it is an attempt to take the focus away from the ongoing five-match series against England. Speaking on the eve of the third Test against the Alastair Cook-led side to be played in Mohali, the Indian batting mainstay further insisted that a newspaper article doesn't matter over International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision. After the 'mintgate' row involving South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis in which he was found guilty of ball-tampering, a British tabloid had accused that some footages of the Rajkot Test indicated that Kohli appeared to shine the ball using residue from a sweet. However, Kohli had faced no inquiry because the mandatory five-day window under which an investigation must begin under the ICC protocol had passed before the footage came to light. "See for me a newspaper article doesn't matter over the decision of the ICC. We as cricketers respect that only. I don't read newspapers. So, I was not aware of it. I was told five days after it came out. I just laughed it off because I don't pay attention to all those things. Some people are trying to take our focus away from the series, but we are completely focused," Kohli told in a press-conference. Earlier, India head coach Anil Kumble had also reflected his views on ball-tampering claims, saying none of his side's players are involved in such activities. Drawing comparison with the du Plessis incident which took place in the second Test against Australia in Hobart, Kumble had said his side did not give too much wind to such kind of stories before saying that a "mountain is being made out of a molehill". Du Plessis was fined 100 percent of his match fee for breaching Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct, but was cleared to play the ongoing day-night Test at the Adelaide Oval. The 32-year-old Proteas player was found guilty after the international cricket body ruled that broadcast footage of him shining the ball with residue from a sweet in his saliva amounted to a breach of the governing body's code of conduct. India are currently leading the five-match series 1-0 following a massive 246-run win over England in the second match in Visakhapatnam. The opening match between two sides had ended in a pale draw. (ANI)