The last week or so has been rough sailing for the Indians Down Under. What started as a controversy over a ‘possible breach’ of the bio bubble has now become a tussle between the cricket boards regarding the venue of the fourth and final Test. Reports suggest that the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) is rethinking if the visitors will be playing the fourth Test in Brisbane. The reports flooded in after Queensland Health Shadow Minister Ros Bates went on record to give team India an ultimatum.
When asked, Australia skipper Tim Paine asserts that the hosts are least concerned about the opposition’s actions off-field. Paine shares that the side’s only focus is the upcoming Test.
“It hasn’t affected us. We’ve spoken about it again in this year with things that are really different than the protocols and whether other teams are breaching or not. We can’t control we can control how we go about it. And that’s all we can worry about. I’m not sure if it’s unsettled them or harm their preparation. You’ll have to ask them,” Paine said in a virtual press conference.
It’s likely to happen as India holds lot of power in world cricket
Paine feels that given the BCCI’s influence on world cricket, a change of venues for the fourth Test is definitely on the cards. As of now, Cricket Australia (CA) has confirmed that there has been no official request from their Indian counterparts regarding a shift of venue. And the Gabba Test will go on as planned. Yet the Tasmania wicketkeeper asserts that no matter the venue, his team is ready to adapt to it and excel.
“I wouldn’t say frustration. I’ll just say a bit of uncertainty, because when you hear things like that coming, particularly from India, who we know hold a lot of power in world cricket, it’s likely that that it could happen. So for us, we just want to be really clear on on on this Test match. We know the protocols. We know what’s expected of us. We’ve got to focus on that this week. And then whatever happens next week happens. And again, we’ll we’ll adapt to it. But, yeah, we’re not too fuzzed. I’m not buying into where the test is being played. As far as we’re aware, it’s it’s at the Gabba. But I said in the team meeting the other day, I couldn’t care less if you rang us up and said it’s in Mumbai tomorrow. We get on a plane and we go and play it. That’s the way we’re looking at it,” Paine said.
The Boxing Day Test witnessed a hilarious banter, first of the series, between Matthew Wade and Rishabh Pant. Not only Paine approves of it but he adds that the third Test might see more of it as the series heats up. The Aussie Test captain explains that some of the players are upset over the unnecessary comments coming from the Indian camp regarding the Gabba Test. And it is likely that the tension might lead to verbal altercations on the field.
“Yeah, I like it. I actually said in a radio interview this morning that it’s been an unusual time, the start of the series. And I think it’s because both teams are just happy to be back playing Test cricket. There’s been such a big break. So there’s a lot of respect between the two teams, there’s no doubt about that but these are very competitive sides. Yeah, I think it’s boiling away. There’s some some stuff starting to happen is a bit of chat and so happening. So I think this Test is going to be fascinating, not just from a cricket point of view. But also I think there’s a bit of tension starting to boil under the surface with a lot of unnamed sources coming out from their camp saying where they want to play the fourth test and where they don’t want to go. And, you know, I think it’s starting to grow on a few people. So we’ll see how it goes.“