Kohli shrugs off ball-tampering report


India captain Virat Kohli has shrugged off suggestions that he tampered with the match ball in the first Test against England as the issue comes under increasing scrutiny.

British media have dug out footage of Kohli applying saliva to the ball during the Rajkot Test, allegedly while eating a sweet or mint.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was fined his entire match fee after being found guilty of ball tampering in the second Test with Australia. He too had buffed up the ball using saliva after eating a mint, with the offence first being raised by Australian television networks airing the match.

Kohli believes the furore surrounding his actions represents an attempt to destabilise India ahead of the third Test, with the hosts 1-0 up against Alastair Cook's men  best-of-five series.

"To me a newspaper article doesn't matter over the decision of the ICC, we as cricketers respect that only," he said.

"Allegations and speculations are something... I don't read newspapers so I'm not aware of those things. 

"I was told five days after that thing came out that something like this had happened and I laughed it off because I don't pay attention to those things.

"It's just some people trying to take the focus away from the series. Good luck to them, but we are totally focused on what we have to do in this game."

Asked if he had done the same as Du Plessis on the field, Kohli replied: "If I was doing something, ICC would have spoken to me, period."