India tour of Australia 2020/21 | Sportzwiki

India tour of Australia 2020/21

Shubman Gill, 21, was one of the architects of India's epic Test series win Down Under braving a hostile Australian pace attack which included Pat Cummins. BCCI
Shubman Gill, 21, was one of the architects of India's epic Test series win Down Under braving a hostile Australian pace attack which included Pat Cummins. BCCI
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Shubman Gill Doesn’t Take Cricket Or Life Too Seriously, Says Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins had an eventful series against visitors India Down Under. The Australian pacer was in top form during the four-match Test series as he picked up the most number of wickets (21) during the contest which was won by the visitors India by a margin of 2-1.

Shubman Gill, the opener also made his debut for India in the series and looked like an assured batsman at the top of the batting lineup. He played pacers Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood with ease and poise as he announced his arrival on the world stage.

Pat Cummins had been bought for 1 CR by KKR in 2014. (File Photo)
Pat Cummins had been bought for 1 CR by KKR in 2014. (File Photo)

Pat Cummins: Shubman Gill Wants To Take The Game On And Is Really Relaxed

Shubman Gill narrowly missed out on a century in the 4th Brisbane Test but garnered praise from several former and current cricketers for his batting exploits. Kolkata Knight Riders pace spearhead Pat Cummins is also a big fan of Shubman Gill and said he likes the way the young India opening batsman stays relaxed while taking the game on.

“He’s good, he’s young. He wants to take the game on and is really relaxed,” the star Aussie pacer said in an Instagram live by KKR in the build-up to their opening IPL match against Sunrisers Hyderabad here on Sunday.

“He doesn’t take cricket or life too seriously. So it’s good fun to be with him,” the world’s number one Test pacer added, hailing the India youngster as the duo would be seen playing together, months after their thrilling duel in the Test series Down Under.

Shubman Gill | Vipin Pawar / Sportzpics for BCCI
Shubman Gill | Vipin Pawar / Sportzpics for BCCI

The 21-year-old was one of the chief architects of India’s epic Test series win Down Under, in what was his debut outing. He managed 259 runs averaging 51.8 in 3 Tests after debuting in the Melbourne Test.

Pat Cummins: Shubman Gill Had A Great Start To His Test Career

Shubman Gill hit a counter-attacking 91 in the second innings of the fourth and final Test in Brisbane, something that set up India’s epic chase of 328 at the Gabba en route to their 2-1 series triumph.

“I get along really well with Shubman. It was a great debut for him last summer in Australia. We had some good contests out in the field. I really feel happy for him, he had a great start to his Test career,” Pat Cummins said.

Shubman Gill (Express photo: Jasbir Malhi)
Shubman Gill (Express photo: Jasbir Malhi)

Amid the COVID-19 scare, IPL will follow a caravan format and for the first time, the franchises will be deprived of home advantage as KKR too would miss playing at the iconic Eden Gardens.

“Just looking forward to playing for you guys this season. I know, unfortunately, we’re not going to get up to Kolkata and see you in person but yeah give us all the love on social media.

“We see it all and we absolutely love it, and we’ll be trying our best for you, so stick with us and yeah hopefully see you all soon,” Pat Cummins maintained in a message to the fans.

Shubman Gill scored 440 runs in 14 games while Pat Cummins picked 12 scalps along with scoring 146 runs in 14 games in IPL 2020. The Australian pacer was the most expensive buy in the 2020 IPL Auction after being bagged by KKR for a whopping 15.50 crores.

Shubman Gill was acquired by the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 and turned in useful contributions for them in his debut season and next 2 seasons- 2019 and 2020 averaging in excess of 30 each time. He made his ODI debut for India in New Zealand in 2019, made his Test debut in Australia in 2020, and is touted for big things in the future.

Kolkata Knight Riders Probable XI: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan(c), Dinesh Karthik(wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine/ Shakib Al Hasan, Shivam Mavi/Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Pat Cummins/ Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy/ Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna.

Bharat Arun Awaits For The Challenge Against In-form Joe Root During Four-Match Test Series
Bharat Arun. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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India’s Bowling Coach Bharat Arun Reveals The Planning To Trap Australian Batsmen Was Started In July

The making of a historic Test series win against Australia was already started in July, reveals India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun. He stated that they have planned to trap Aussies batting mainstays Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne on the leg side after observing their Test series against New Zealand.

Team India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after winning two matches in the four-match Test series. One of the main highlights of the series was Ravichandran Ashwin making Steve Smith his bunny. He had sent him for a duck in the first innings of the second Test match before picking his wicket for one run in the first innings of the first Test.

Ravi Shastri said that we need to take the off-side out of the Australians: Bharat Arun

India's Bowling Coach Bharat Arun Reveals The Planning To Trap Australian Batsmen Was Started In July 1
Image Credit: Getty Images.

Bharat Arun reveals that they had chalked out the whole plan after the discussion with head coach Ravi Shastri to bamboozle Smith with their leg side theory.

“Ravi Shastri (head coach) called me sometime in July,” Arun said. “When we were discussing the Australia tour, he said that we need to take the off-side out of the Australians. So, we had our own analysis and felt that most of the runs that Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschange had scored was off the cut, pull and on the offside.

“We also took a cue out of the New Zealand attack when they bowled to Steven Smith, where they had attacked his body and he had felt very uncomfortable at that point in time.

India's Bowling Coach Bharat Arun Reveals The Planning To Trap Australian Batsmen Was Started In July 2
Ravichandran Ashwin. Image Credit: Twitter.

Bharat Arun also heaped the praise of stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, who fluently executed the plans in the remaining of the three-Test matches after Virat Kohli’s departure.

“Ravi called and said, ‘I want you to make a plan where we eliminate the offside for the Australians.’ Then we sat and planned the whole thing,” Bharat Arun said. “We said we’re going to attack them with straighter lines and have on-side fields for batsmen.

“The thought process started in July and when we had discussion with Virat [Kohli], he bought into the theory. We employed it in Adelaide and Ajinkya [Rahane] was magnificent [in his use of the plan] in Melbourne onwards and the bowlers responded beautifully, ” he added. 

Not only, India won that match but also broke Australia’s 32 years unbeaten record in The Gabba.

Harbhajan Singh, Chandrayaan-2
Photo Credit: Getty Images)
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Australian Crowd Has Been Involved At Hurling Abuses In Past Too: Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh, Indian spinner on Sunday said that the Australian crowd is in the habit of getting involved in unsavoury incidents like hurling abuses at the visiting teams.

Harbhajan Singh’s remarks came as the Indian team on Saturday lodged an official complaint after the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground racially abused Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj over the second and third day of the ongoing Pink Test. In the 4th day too, 6 spectators were asked to leave after abusing Mohammed Siraj again.

Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Harbhajan Singh Tweets That He Too Have Heard Things On Field

The off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also said that the Australian crowd has made comments in the past about his colour and religion as according to him this isn’t the last time the Australian crowd is doing nonsense stuff and he is concerned about the method to stop the abuse in future.

Harbhajan Singh.
Harbhajan Singh. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

Harbhajan Singh’s remarks came as the Indian team on Saturday lodged an official complaint after the crowd at the SCG racially abused the two pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj in the ongoing 3rd and penultimate Pink Test at Sydney.

 

The crowd did not even stop on day four of the ongoing Pink Test as Mohammed Siraj along with India skipper Ajinkya Rahane had a word with umpire Paul Reiffel regarding the unruly behaviour of the crowd.

Television visuals indicated that there were some words spoken for Mohammed Siraj who was fielding near the boundary rope. Both the umpires then had a word with each other after which the police involved then asked a group of men to leave the stand.

Cricket Australia’s Security Said Strict Action To Be Taken As Cricket Australia Awaits Outcome Of ICC’s Investigation Into Matter

Sean Carroll, Cricket Australia’s Head of Integrity and Security on Sunday said that strict action will be taken against the section of fans who hurled racial slurs at Indian pacers Mohammad Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah.

“Cricket Australia condemns in the strongest terms possible all discriminatory behaviour. If you engage in racist abuse, you are not welcome in Australian cricket,” said Carroll, Cricket Australia’s Head of Integrity and Security in an official release.

Mohammed Siraj.
Mohammed Siraj. Image Credit: Getty Images.

“CA is awaiting the outcome of the International Cricket Council’s investigation into the matter reported at the SCG on Saturday. Once those responsible are identified, CA will take the strongest measures possible under our Anti-Harassment Code, including lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police. As series hosts, we unreservedly apologise to our friends in the Indian cricket team and assure them we will prosecute the matter to its fullest extent,” he added.

India has been set a target of 407 to win the third Test at the SCG. India are at 98/2 at stumps on 4th day and need 309 more runs to win and go 2-1 up. Australia declared at 312/6 with the fifties from Marnus Labuschagne (73), Steve Smith (81) and Cameron Green (84).

Australia vs India 2020-21: Pat Cummins Reveals The Plan Of Australia On Day Four
Pat Cummins. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: Pat Cummins Reveals The Plan Of Australia To Bundle Out India On Day Four

After bowling out India for 244 runs on day three, Australia’s bowling machine Pat Cummins reckons the host had a great day with having a big lead of 197 runs. He has revealed that Australia will be looking to bat until two sessions on day three and then have a crack at India in the last innings.

Pat Cummins’, basically, sounds to tire the visitors. If Australia successfully bats for two sessions, the Indian bowlers will be tired while the fielder’s energy will also be down by the time they come for batting in the last session.

pat cummins,
Image Credit: Getty Images.

“It was a good day. Woke up this morning hoping that by the close of the play today we wouldn’t be bowling and then to have a lead of 200 (197 runs), it’s a great day,” Pat Cummins said on Sony Network at the end of Day 3.

“I think the runs (the lead) is probably going to be the most important. At least one and a half to two sessions tomorrow and then probably have a crack at them,” Pat Cummins added.

Pat Cummins gets the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara for the fourth time in this series:

Cheteshwar Pujara,
Cheteshwar Pujara. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Talking about the third day of the Sydney Test, India were dominant position until the stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane gave away his wicket to Cummins. The speedster also went on to pick the wicket of India’s wall Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored his slowest fifty in Test cricket. He later than also picked the wicket of Mohammed Siraj.

Apart from Cummins, Hazlewood also got two wickets of and Mitchell Starc took one wicket. Three Indian players were run-out on Saturday to add to the team’s batting woes.

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Australia vs India, 3rd Test: Fantasy Cricket Tips – India’s Tour Of Australia 2020-21

The hosts Australia will take on the visitors Indian team in the third Test of the ongoing series from Thursday (7th January) at Sydney Cricket Ground (Sydney).

The four-match Test series is currently standing in level by the 1-1 margin with two more Tests to go. Australia won the pink-ball Test at Adelaide by 8 wickets, which was the opening game of this Test series.

Meanwhile, India won the second Test of this series at Melbourne by 8 wickets, which began on the 2020 Boxing Day.

Australia vs India, 3rd Test: Complete Squads

Australia: Tim Paine (C), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner

India: Ajinkya Rahane (C), Rohit Sharma (vc), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Thangarasu Natarajan

Australia vs India, 3rd Test: Playing XIs

Australia (predicted XI): David Warner, Will Pucovski, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine (C/wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

India (announced XI): Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (C), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini

Australia vs India, 3rd Test: Fantasy Cricket Tips

Australia

Australia, India, Fantasy Cricket, Australia vs India, 3rd Test
Australian team. Image Credit: ICC.

David Warner has returned to the squad along with youngster and uncapped Will Pucovski. In the last Test, Australia had zero 50+ scores from their batsmen. While only captain Tim Paine and now-excluded Joe Burns hit half-centuries in this Test series for Australia, Marnus Labuschagne is their leading run-scorer this series with 129 runs in four innings (average 32.25). Also, Matthew Wade has scored 111 runs (average 27.75) in this Test series.

While the pacer Pat Cummins is the joint-leading wicket-taker in this Test series with 10 wickets, the left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc has got 8 wickets this Test series. Also, Josh Hazlewood, the only five-wicket haul bowler in this Test series, has bagged 7 wickets in this series.

India

Australia, India, Fantasy Cricket, Australia vs India, 3rd Test
Image Credit: Getty Images.

While Umesh Yadav and KL Rahul are the fresh names to get ruled out from the remainder of this away Test series, Rohit Sharma and T Natarajan have joined the Test squad. Rohit’s addition is important for the Indian team who will play the vice-captain role of this Indian team.

Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane is the only centurion in this Test series yet as he is the leading run-scorer in this Test series with 181 runs in four innings (average 60.33). In the last Test at Melbourne, Rahane scored 112 runs during India’s first innings. Youngster Shubman Gill impressed in the last Test, where the Test debutant scored 45 and 35 not out. In the middle-order batting, Ravindra Jadeja’s half-century played an important role for the Indian team to put the visitors to the strong position in the last game.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has taken 10 wickets in this Test series. Also, the right-arm pacer Jasprit Bumrah has got 8 wickets in this Test series. While Mohammed Siraj made his Test debut in the last game, the right-arm pacer impressed by taking a total of five wickets in that Test.

Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:

Captain – Ajinkya Rahane, Marnus Labuschagne, Pat Cummins

Vice-captain – Ravichandran Ashwin, Mitchell Starc

Suggested Playing XI for Fantasy Cricket (1):

Wicket-keeper(s) – Tim Paine

Batsmen – Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (C)

All-rounder(s) – Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja

Bowlers – Pat Cummins (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah

Australia, India, Fantasy Cricket, Australia vs India, 3rd Test
Image Credit: Dream11

Suggested Playing XI for Fantasy Cricket (2):

Wicket-keeper(s) – Matthew Wade, Rishabh Pant

Batsmen – Marnus Labuschagne (C), David Warner, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma

All-rounder(s) – Ravichandran Ashwin (vc), Ravindra Jadeja

Bowlers – Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Jasprit Bumrah

Australia, India, Fantasy Cricket, Australia vs India, 3rd Test
Image Credit: Dream11
India vs Australia, 3rd Test: Masks Mandatory for Fans at Sydney Test
Sydney Cricket Ground. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: 3rd Test, Masks Mandatory For Fans At Sydney Test

After a spectator, who attended the MCG Test, has tested positive for the coronavirus, New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard has made masks compulsory for the third Test which will be hosted in Sydney.

Sydney has already witnessed the outbreak of the new coronavirus strain but Cricket Australia has been reluctant to not change the venue. But the strength of the audience in Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) has been decreased from 50% to 25% which means 10,000 people will be allowed in a ground that can hold 48,000 after an outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia’s largest city.

Australia vs India 2020-21: 3rd Test, Masks Mandatory For Fans At Sydney Test 3
SCG. Image Credit: Twitter

Hazzard said New South Wales had no option but to impose the measure after health officials in Victoria state said a man who attended the second Test might have contracted COVID-19 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“I want to stress that Victoria announcing a new case that they don’t yet know the source of at the MCG is obviously influencing our thinking about what we should be doing to keep New South Wales safe,” Hazzard told a news conference.

“You must wear a mask,” he added. “From the moment effectively you get into the transport to get there, and get into the queue at the front door of the SCG, and go to your seat, and sit in the your seat, you must wear a mask. The only exception to that, if you’re eating or drinking.”

Fans might be fines in Sydney for not wearing masks:

Australia
Australian team. Image Credit: ICC.

Mask-wearing in indoor public spaces was made mandatory in Sydney for the first time on Sunday with fines of A$200 ($155) for anyone in breach of the directive.

“Again, the (health) orders that will be made today will impose a A$1,000 fine on any person who was in that location and who seeks to come to the SCG,” he said.

“I know that’s a tough – it’s a tough ask, but it’s absolutely necessary to keep New South Wales residents safe.”

The Test series between the two cricketing superpowers is drawn 1-1 going into the third match with the fourth scheduled to take place from Jan. 15 in Brisbane.

Ajinkya Rahane, World Cup
Ajinkya Rahane (Image Credit: Google)
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Ajinkya Rahane Is Quietly Aggressive, But Expected Him To Lead Well: Deep Dasgupta

Deep Dasgupta, former Indian wicket-keeper said he knew that Ajinkya Rahane will be successful in taking charge of the Indian team who were almost written off after the horrendous batting debacle in Adelaide.

After that humiliating 8-wicket loss in Adelaide Test where they registered lowest ever Test score of 36, many experts thought that the tourists won’t have any chance to rebound in the series, especially in the absence of Virat Kohli. But Ajinkya Rahane’s brilliance as captain and batsman completely changed the plot.

Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Deep Dasgupta: Ajinkya Rahane Is Quiet And Aggressive But Less Expressive Than Virat Kohli

The stand-in skipper led India in Virat Kohli’s absence to a series-levelling win in the Boxing Day Test and scored a match-winning hundred against Australia.

“I knew he could do it, there’s no two ways. And it’s not just about him, there are other leaders as well. I have been an Ajinkya fan not both of his international debuts but from his first-class days because you could see someone special there,” Dasgupta told Sports Today.

Ajinkya Rahane , Virat Kohli.
Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Deep Dasgupta also spoke about the Ajinkya Rahane’s composure on the field. The former cricketer stated that he is equally aggressive as Virat Kohli but he chooses to remain calm.

“He might be quiet but that doesn’t mean he isn’t aggressive. He might be less expressive than someone like Virat, but he is equally aggressive, equally attacking, the way he thinks and handles himself. It’s just that he keeps quiet. But I have seen him leading us well. We all have seen him leading India before,” Dasgupta said.

Deep Dasgupta recalled his stint as a captain in the Dharmshala Test against Australia in 2017, stating that he led the side with an aggressive mindset.

“We all remember how he led the team in Dharmshala. He was attacking in his mindset; his bowling changes were attacking. His team, again, was very attacking. So, I think, if you look back and see… you will get hints that he is someone who is very, very aggressive in his mindset. Obviously, his batting tells you that… the way he bats, counter-attacking more often when India is not in trouble,” Dasgupta said.

The win at MCG is more creditable as India did not had services of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami besides the humiliation of getting bundled out for 36 at the Adelaide Oval still fresh in mind.

In the Dharmshala Test, Ajinkya Rahane led for the first time and debutant spinner Kuldeep Yadav picked 4/68 in 1st innings as Australia were bowled for 300 despite Steve Smith’s 111. India scored 332 in 1st innings with KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja scoring 50s. Australia scored 137 in 2nd innings with Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin picking 3 wickets apiece and India managed to win the Test by 8 wickets.

Deep Dasgupta: Ajinkya Rahane Kept Players Together

In the 2nd MCG Test, Australia were bowled out for 195 with Jasprit Bumrah picking 4 scalps. India scored 326 courtesy a valiant 112 from Ajinkya Rahane. Australia were dismissed for 200 in 2nd essay before India scored the required 70 runs losing 2 wickets for an incredible 8 wicket win. Ravindra Jadeja scored 57 in 1st innings besides picking up 5 wickets in two innings with ball.

“The former cricketer also credited Rahane for keeping the players together in the act of winning the second Test against Australia. I didn’t really have any doubt that he can get this team together. Also, credit to the other leaders who all stood up – starting from Pujara to Ashwin to Bumrah, and Rahane got all of them together. When India were bowling, the bowling captain seemed to be someone else. “

Ravichandran Ashwin,
Ravichandran Ashwin. Image Credit: Getty Images.

“It wasn’t Ajinkya running up to the bowlers all the time. It was Ashwin or Bumrah speaking to other bowlers; Ashwin predominantly. So, you got everyone involved in it and that is so important. Under crisis you have to get everyone involved and make everyone a stakeholder,” Dasgupta concluded.

Ajinkya Rahane now has won all his 3 Test matches as captain-the Dharmshala Test in 2017 against Australia, the one-off Test against Afghanistan and now the away Test against Australia in Melbourne.

Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: Team India To Travel Together To Sydney For Third Test

The hullabaloo around India breaching COVID-19 rules in Melbourne has taken different twists and turns. Cricket Australia, on Saturday, released a statement that the five Indian players will be isolated after a video surfaced showing them eating inside a Melbourne restaurant on New Year’s Day. Following the orders, reports surfaced that those players will also be travelling separately from the Indian squad to Sydney to play the third Test.

However, the recent report from India Today claims that they are indeed travelling together and there was no talk even of the 5 players travelling separately or being left behind. They have also stated that the allegation of violating protocol was unfair to blame and the whole team is committed to being real ambassadors as they have been for 2 months.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Team India To Travel Together To Sydney For Third Test 4
Image Credit: Twitter.

Meanwhile, those five players are vice-captain Rohit Sharma, fast bowler Navdeep Saini, openers Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Team India to travel to Sydney on January 4:

Australia, India
Image Credit: Twitter

Navaldeep Singh was the Indian cricket fan who tweeted the video of the aforementioned people dining out in a hotel in Melbourne. He also claimed that Pant had hugged him after he paid the bill for them. However, after his tweet went viral and the players were being balmed, he posted another tweet apologizing for the miscommunication and clarifying that Pant didn’t hug him.

Meanwhile, both teams will be reaching Sydney on January 4 after which they will start preparing for the third Test which begins from January 7. The four-match series currently stands level at 1-1 after India bounced back from the Adelaide defeat.

Ajinkya Rahane-led side won the MCG Test by eight wickets. The Third Test will be neck to neck as both the team will be looking to win it to gain the lead.

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Matthew Wade Confident Of Steve Smith Returning To Form

Matthew Wade, Australian batsman has expressed confidence that Steve Smith will overcome his struggles against Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the last two Tests against India.

Ravichandran Ashwin has troubled Steve Smith in the first two Tests, dismissing him cheaply twice – once caught at slip and then at leg-slip. Steve Smith, the centurion in first 2 ODIs have scored only 10 runs averaging a dismal 3.33 in 2 Tests and 4 innings.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Matthew Wade Enjoyed Batting As Opener And Is Sure Steve Smith Will Be Fine Overcoming His Difficulties

Speaking about Steve Smith’s struggles against Ravichandran Ashwin, Matthew Wade spoke to ANI during a virtual press conference by terming Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as tough to handle as Australia need to find a way to tackle the duo.

“I think they (India) have bowled terrifically well, especially in Melbourne there was more spin and bounce, we did not expect it to come into play as it did, we did not adapt quick enough to that wicket, Steve has played against Ashwin plenty of times before this, Smith has been successful over here and I am sure he will be fine, no problems at all.

‘Ashwin and Jadeja are a difficult spin duo, they are very consistent and we need to find a way, that’s the nature of the beast.”

Matthew Wade
Matthew Wade. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Matthew Wade opened in the first two Tests in absence of David Warner and Will Pucovski who are injured. However, with the return of the opening duo for the remaining two Tests, Matthew Wade could be slotted back in the middle-order as Travis Head could make way for him. Joe Burns another incumbent opener who was struggling for form has been axed.

“I have really enjoyed batting as an opener, I did not know what to expect going into the pink-ball Test, it’s not that different, you have to be cautious early, moving forward if the selectors want me to do this role, then I am comfortable doing it now.

“Will Pucovski has come back to the squad, I don’t know right now where I will bat, whether I play or not, who knows. I will prepare for where I have been batting, if I slide down the order, then also I am comfortable, ” the 33 year old added while sharing experience of opening the innings.

Matthew Wade has registered scores of 8, 33, 30 and 40 in the first two Tests. While David Warner and Will Pucovski, who is yet to debut are part of Australia’s updated Test squad for the last two Tests, struggling opener Joe Burns is now playing for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League (BBL) after being axed.

Matthew Wade: Not Worried And Can’t Do Much About Indian Affairs Outside Cricket Ground

Matthew Wade was also asked about his views on the Indian team’s dining controversy. Cricket Australia on Saturday informed that Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini have been placed in isolation as a precautionary measure for eating at an indoor venue in Melbourne flouting stringent quarantine norms in place.

Matthew Wade responded: “What India is doing, I haven’t really thought too much about it, I have seen the photo, it is what it is, people a lot higher than me are sorting it out, as a group and me personally, we are not worried what India is doing outside of the cricket ground, we cannot do much about it.”

Cricketers Dining Outside
Cricketers Dining Outside

With the four-match Test series between India and Australia level at 1-1, the teams will now meet in the third Test at Sydney from January 7 followed by the Brisbane Test from January 15 which remains in doubt following India’s unwillingness to follow stringent quarantine norms at Queensland.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Ajinkya Rahane Was Ready To Take Blows In His Body During Pracitse To Prepare For Australia-Pravin Amre
Ajinkya Rahne with Ravindra Jadeja During Second Test Against Australia. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: Ajinkya Rahane Was Ready To Take Blows In His Body During Pracitse To Prepare For Australia-Pravin Amre

Ajinkya Rahane’s coach Pravin Amre has revealed the level of preparation Mumbaikar did before touring for Australia to play the four-match Test series. He has stated that Rahane has yielded outstanding performance in the second Test because he had done tough preparation for the tour.

Ajinkya Rahane, who is also leading Team India in the Test series after Virat Kohli‘s departure, scored a gritty century before being run out for the first time in Test cricket. He stood for the team when the other side was losing wickets at consecutive intervals. Cricket boffins has labelled Rahane’s hundred as the perfect captain’s knock.

Ajinkya Rahane’s story is that he was successful only because he prepared really well: Pravin Amre

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane. Credits: BCCI Twitter

According to Amre, a lot of hard work was done behind the scenes by the stand-in captain to produce the desired output. Amre described how Rahane knew exactly what he wanted to work on in his game before the Australia tour and also said that he was ready to take blows on his body as he thought it will be required to survive some sessions during the tour.

“Ajinkya was on his own (during practise sessions). He knew what he was doing and he was asking my throw-down person to bowl him in this and that area, he wanted to practise for this type of a ball, he said.

He made sure that he will have less reaction time when he was going to prepare in those practise sessions. He was ready to take the blows on the body because he was aware that there will be sessions in Australia where he has to take blows on his body to survive that session.

Ajinkya Rahane,
Ajinkya Rahane (Image Credit: Twitter)

As per Amre, Ajinkya Rahane belief that he is successful only because he prepared really well before every tour

“I think that’s what he did before going and I was really glad to see how he was preparing, because Ajinkya’s story is that he was successful only because he prepared really well before each and every tour,” said Pravin Amre on Sports Today.

Meanwhile, India made a strong comeback in the second Test, winning it by eight wickets. Many had opined that Australia would clean sweep the visitors after a debacle in the opening pink-ball Test. But Ajinkya Rahane-led India proved everyone wrong and now all the eyes are on the third Test which is scheduled in Sydney and will begin on January 7.

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