Virat Kohli asks ICC to remain consistent over rule change

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Indian skipper Virat Kohli with Ravindra Jadeja
Indian skipper Virat Kohli with Ravindra Jadeja

New Delhi : India skipper Virat Kohli on Friday hoped that the ICC guidelines for suspending a player will be consistent and not vary with different situations after all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was suspended for the third Test against Sri Lanka here due to a breach of conduct.

Jadeja accumulated six demerit points inside a 24-month period which means he will be suspended from one Test or two ODIs or two T20Is, whatever comes first.

Jadeja had come into the Colombo Test with three demerit points, which were slapped on him for running on the pitch against New Zealand in Indore in October 2016. 

Now, the ICC have penalised him further after an incident in the 58th over of the Sri Lankan second innings.

Jadeja had fielded the ball off his own bowling and then thrown it at batsman Malinda Pushpakumara during Sri Lanka's second innings in the second Test "in a dangerous manner" according to on-field umpires Rod Tucker and Bruce Oxenford. 

This was in breach of article 2.2.8 of the player's code of conduct which deals with "throwing a ball (or any other item of cricket equipment such as a water bottle) at or near a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee or any other third person in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner during an International Match".

"Lot of things happen in the heat of the moment you end up doing. But you don't know what's going to cause you one point, two points or three points," Kohli said on the eve of the third and final rubber at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium from Saturday. 

"I think the intent counts nowadays and those are the things a player needs to keep in mind. Just hoping that the guideline is very similar and it should not vary how a situation is looked at. 

"If it's consistent it's going to be good going ahead because players will be more aware of how they need to conduct themselves on the field and it'll only help the game get better," the skipper told reporters.

Jadeja had been a vital cog in India's wheel so far, scoring an unbeaten 70 in India's innings, and taking a total of seven wickets in the second Test in Colombo which India won by an innings and 53 runs. 

On chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who is tipped to replace the Saurashtra player, Kohli said: "A guy like Kuldeep Yadav is willing to bowl in any situation. He has proved himself in Dharamsala and has a good chance of playing tomorrow."

India did not practice on Friday, but Kohli said they are confident of taking the field on Saturday and are in a "good zone."

"Even though we did not have practice today, we are comfortable going into the Test match as we are in a good zone. The bowlers need more rest in places like Sri Lanka where it gets hot and humid. They take lot of workload during a Test match."

India have never won a Test series 3-0 in Sri Lanka. Asked if the team is looking forward to that record, Kohli said: "For us it's just about playing another Test match and trying to win another Test match. These things are a distraction, I personally feel, which causes people to get over excited."