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SCG replay rankles, crowd boosts Kohli

Virat Kohli is relishing the return of crowds in Australia but the superstar hopes there will be no repeat of a controversial incident at the SCG, where India were denied a crucial review and wicket.

The tourists suffered a 12-run loss to Australia in the final Twenty20.

Kohli failed to drag India to victory, however his bedazzling knock of 85 was full of shots that suggest the right-hander is physically and mentally ready for his first and final Test on tour.

Matthew Wade’s 80 was the highlight of Australia’s total of 5-186.

However, Wade would have been out on 50 if Kohli was allowed to proceed with a referral.

Umpires Rod Tucker and Gerard Abood initially accepted India’s belated review of an lbw shout despite the fact a replay had flashed on the scoreboard.

“They referred it off the big screen,” Wade objected.

Third umpire Paul Wilson quickly told his on-field colleagues that “it’s a null and void review” as per the playing conditions that dictate no replays shall be shown on a big screen until the 15-second period for consideration expires.

The message was relayed to an incredulous Kohli, who walked away and shook his head after speaking with the umpires.

“That lbw was a strange one because we were still discussing whether the ball was going down and within the 15-second time frame they showed the replay on screen,” Kohli told reporters.

“I had a chat with Rod, (asking) ‘what do we do in this situation?’.

“He said ‘nothing can be done, it was a mistake from TV’.

“In a very important game this could be very costly. So that was a little bit of a miss from the guys upstairs.”

Tuesday’s T20 was played in front of 30,436 fans after the NSW government relaxed restrictions on crowd sizes for sporting events.

Few seemed to enjoy the atmosphere as much as Kohli, who is among the stars coming off an IPL that featured no crowds.

“This has been a pleasant change. You sometimes find yourself in difficult situations then the energy and passion of the fans pulls you through,” Kohli said.

“That’s one factor that has helped us.

“I’ve felt really, really good having crowds … it gives you an added boost.”

The classy batsman is unsure whether he will play India’s pink-ball tour game, which starts at the SCG on Friday, or rest before the first Test starts at Adelaide Oval on December 17.

“If I feel great I’ll definitely play. If not, I’ll speak to the physio and trainer, and maybe get a few days off and be fresh for the first Test,” Kohli said.

Kohli, who is returning home after the pink-ball Test for the birth of his first child, said he felt “particularly good” batting in the third T20.

“I was a bit scratchy in the first ODI but I addressed a few things … when I get into a good headspace, I feel like I can play and switch between formats,” he said.

“I’m in the right headspace.”

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