Steve Smith, Ian Healy and Nathan Lyon were all in the firing line as a seething India captain Virat Kohli went on an extraordinary rant after his side’s second Test victory.
Kohli ensured the remainder of the four-Test series will be played at high intensity after effectively accusing Australia of cheating — and doing it repeatedly during the first two Tests.
Speaking after Australia captain Smith looked to the change rooms when trying to determine if he should review an LBW decision in his country’s eventual 75-run loss, Kohli said: “I saw that two times happening [Aussies looking for DRS assistance] when I was batting out there.
“I pointed it out to the umpires … we told the umpires they had been doing that for the last three days and that had to stop.
“I don’t want to mention the word, but it falls into that bracket. I would never do something like that.”
When asked if the word he was referring to was cheating, Kohli said: “I didn’t say that. You did.”
He then aimed fire at former Australian wicket-keeper Healy, who earlier said he was “losing respect” for Kohli because of his “disrespect of the Australian players and umpires”.
Kohli said: “We’ve got 1.2 billion people in India, one person doesn’t make a difference to my life.”
Then, bizarrely, Kohli called journalists to look up Ian Healy on YouTube and see the way he reacted to a dismissal in a Test in 1997.
“I heard he said something about me not having good behaviour with the umpires,” he said.
“You need to go and search on YouTube, when he was given out down the leg side. You all should YouTube that video and I think that says it all.”
Kohli, who had several run-ins with Australian players during the Test and was repeatedly spoken to by the umpires, then took exception to comments made by off-spinner Lyon.
Lyon, while praising Kohli pre-Test, said “he is obviously the head of the snake”, a reference to the importance of the Indian’s wicket.
“A lot of people were talking about the head of the snake — I think the snake did pretty well by itself,” he said.
“It’s not about one individual here. If they keep focusing on the head of the snake, then the snake can sting from a lot of directions.”
Kohli also rejected Smith’s comment that his look to the dressing room was a “brain fade” and declared it was “by far the sweetest victory” of his career.
After two Tests, the enthralling series is locked at 1-1. The third Test between India and Australia begins next Thursday, March 16.