Former India leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan has said India captain Virat Kohli was smart enough to figure out Steve Smith's game-plan during the Bengaluru Test of 2017 in which the former Australia captain was caught seeking the dressing room help over a Decision Review System (DRS) call.
The 52-year-old, who represented India in nine Tests and 16 ODIs, added Kohli's allegations against Smith have been proven right by the latter's involvement in the ball-tampering scandal during the recently-concluded Test match against South Africa in Cape Town.
The 27-year-old has been slapped with a one-match ban by the International Cricket Committee (ICC) but Cricket Australia (CA) officials, who are investigating the incident, are expected to take strict action against the players if they are found guilty.
The infamous "brain fade" row
The right-handed batsman, who has been shattering batting records at will in the recent past, was involved in a similar controversy during the Bengaluru Test.
Smith, who was leading Australia's chase of 188 against the hosts in the third Test of a fiercely-fought four-match series, camera vision suggested him seeking help from the dressing room for the DRS call over an LBW decision.
Kohli was quick to point out Smith's actions to the on-field umpires, who sent the Australian walking to the dressing room. Indian skipper stopped short of calling his Australian counterpart's actions "cheating" during a fiery press conference after Australia's dramatic collapse.
The Indian skipper had claimed Australians were repeated offenders but Smith denied the former's complaints, calling them "a load of rubbish".
"Virat was smart on the field and he saw what Steve was doing during the Test series. Today, his accusation is proven right. Now that Smith is caught, it proves to show that he may have done something in the past as well in India, if not ball tampering," Sivaramakrishnan told The Times of India.
Use red card against players involved in 'illegal acts': Sivaramakrishnan
The former leg-spinner also insisted the ICC should be giving "prime importance" to "saving the spirit of the game".
He also suggested players involved in "illegal activities like ball tampering" be sent off using red cards, which were introduced last year for more serious Level 4 offenses — physical assault and act of violence.
Smith facing flak for "orchestrating" ball-tampering
Smith, who is facing severe criticism from across the cricket fraternity, was forced to resign as captain minutes ahead of the fourth day's play in Cape Town on Sunday. Australian Sports Committee, one of the country's governing bodies, has called for decisive action on Smith and co.
Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull echoed the feelings of quite a few cricket fans when he said he was "shocked and disappointed" by the actions of the national cricket team.
Several former cricketers, including England star Michael Vaughn, lashed out at Smith and the "senior pros" of the Australian team for using opener Cameron Bancroft, the most junior member in the playing XI, to carry out the ball-tampering.
Former Australia captain Michael Clarke revealed he was willing to come out of retirement and lead the side if he was asked by the "right people". The 36-year-old, who quit international cricket in 2015, said the Baggy Greens "don't need to cheat to beat anybody" while hitting out at the team's shameful conduct on the field.