The Indian cricket team has been under scrutiny from the Australian media ever since a video surfaced of five Indian players dining inside a Melbourne restaurant on Friday. The video went viral on social media, leading to both the cricket boards – Cricket Australia and BCCI – getting involved in the matter. As a result, all the five players were sent in isolation for alleged breach of bio-secure protocols.
The entire episode took a huge turn after a section of Aussie media dragged Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya in the fiasco. At the same time, a couple of former Australian cricketers and Queensland’s shadow sports minister issued strong statements over some unverified reports of India wanting a shift of venue for the final Test due to stricter COVID-19 protocols.
Finally, a statement from CA Chief Executive Nick Hockley cleared the air that the visitors aren’t in favour of moving the fourth Test out of Brisbane.
Commenting on this chain of events, former Indian cricketer Deep Dasgupta stated that the Australians don’t want India to focus on the upcoming game and hence, are sparking such off-field controversies.
While speaking to Sports Today, Dasgupta said, “That’s what they want. They want us not to focus on the Australian team. David Warner is not a 100 percent fit. He has told the world about it in a press conference. But they are pushing him. That’s how hard-pressed the Australian side is. Steve Smith is not scoring runs. Marnus Labuschagne is looking different. Let’s do that now, focus on the Australian side.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator further opined that these incidents will only ‘galvanise’ the tourists and will inspire them to get together in the upcoming Sydney Test.
“I don’t know what the result will be. India can go on to win, they might lose the next 2. But these incidents will again galvanise the team further. I think they will get a lot closer after the incident. This will only help the team get together.
“Tim Paine is under tremendous pressure. They almost have their full side and they have to win this,” said Dasgupta.
After levelling the 4-match series 1-1, Ajinkya Rahane-led India will face Australia in the third match which begins from January 7 in Sydney.