Pragyan Ojha, former Indian spinner while speaking to Sports Today, said a section of Australian media is trying to get under the skin of Team India and put pressure on the visitors after they came back from behind to thrash Australia by 8 wickets in the Boxing Day Test.
Pragyan Ojha said the off-field dining incident and defaming the duo of Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli are ploys employed to put the pressure back on the visitors ahead of the 3rd Test in Sydney.
Pragyan Ojha: Australian Media Employing Tactics To Get Under Indians Skin
In the lead up to the New Year’s Test, starting January 7 at Sydney, there has been a lot of chatter about the off-field controversies. While 5 India players, including vice-captain Rohit Sharma and keeper Rishabh Pant, have been alleged of breaching the bio-secure bubble by dining in a restaurant, a few Australian newspapers stirred up unnecessary controversy, dragging Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya’s names into it, claiming the star duo had breached the protocols during the preceding limited-overs series.
The startling allegation came as a shock as both Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya had left Australia last month and there was no official communication from Cricket Australia or the BCCI about any possible breach when the duo visited a baby store in Sydney.
Also, some of the former Australian cricketers, including wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, have replied strongly to reports of Indian team wanting to shift the 4th Test out of Brisbane due to possible hard quarantine norms upon arrival from Sydney. Cricket Australia’s interim boss Nick Hockley dismissed rumours on Monday. It was appalling to see a couple of Queensland’s ministers responding to the unverified reports, urging the visitors not to visit Brisbane.
“Everybody knows Australians are bad losers. They are not able to take it (MCG defeat) despite five of our main players missing. Indian team is doing so well. They never expected the Indian team to win. They thought they could win, they were taken by surprise,” Pragyan Ojha told Sports Today.
“I feel it’s a big gimmick to take the pressure off Australia and try to get under the skin of the Indians. They don’t know we exactly know what they are trying to do. The Indian team is relaxed, they know what to do and focused on the last 2 Tests,” said Pragyan Ojha.
“Rohit Sharma, he has had a 14-day hard quarantine, before that training at the NCA. I am very sure he is not a fool to come and just breach the protocols. Yes, at times, things look different. I am very sure, they know what the protocols are and they follow them, ” said Pragyan Ojha.
“The bottom line is Australians are bad losers, ” said Pragyan Ojha.
The chatter comes after Australia were handed an 8-wicket thrashing by India in the Boxing Day Test as the visiting team led by Ajinkya Rahane in Virat Kohli’s absence came back strongly in Melbourne after the 8-wicket defeat in Adelaide where the visitors registered their lowest Test score of 36.
Deep Dasgupta: Off-Field Controversies Galvanize Indian Team
Meanwhile, former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta said the off-field controversies peddled by Australian media will only galvanize the Indian team further in the lead up to the last 2 Test.
India and Australia will meet in the third Test in Sydney commencing 7th January after which the final Test will be played from January 15 in Brisbane.
“I don’t know what the result will be. India can go on to win, they might lose the next 2. But this incident will again galvanize the team further. I think they will get a lot closer after the incident. This will only help the team get together,” Dasgupta said.
Australia won the first and second ODI matches to take a lead in the series. India won the third ODI match by 13 runs, with Australia winning the series 2–1. India also won the first and second T20I matches, taking an unassailable lead in the T20I series before Australia won the third and final match by 12 runs as India won the series 2–1.