While things have been unusually harmonious on the field between India and Australia, the same cannot be said about the action going on away from the field. Ever since India thrashed the hosts in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Australian media has constantly targetted the Indian camp. It all began after five Indian players visited a restaurant in Melbourne.
Following the incident, the Australian media accused the players of breaching the bio-bubble protocols and demanded an investigation. Later reports came out that the Indian team want a relaxation on the strict restrictions and hence, are reluctant to play the 4th Test at the Gabba in Brisbane. The Australian media has since then made life difficult for the team Down Under.
And as the media Down Under continue to target the Indian camp, former India opener Aakash Chopra has slammed them, saying that the media is creating an image as if Indian team is scared to play the Australian team at the Gabba. Describing the Aussie media as the “12th man”, Aakash Chopra said that an image is being created as if the Indian team is “chickening out” of the Brisbane Test.
“I saw it during the last tour as well that mental disintegration is practised in Australia. When Australia lost the Adelaide Test last time, coach Justin Langer spoke to the media that this is a team of ‘bad boys’ and they ‘bully’ the other team. I was like ‘bully calling a bully, what are you doing?’. Then after they won the Perth Test, the media created a buzz that India cannot win in Perth,” Aakash Chopra said in a video on his YouTube channel.
“Now a similar atmosphere is being built at Gabba that this Indian team cannot win at Gabba. I feel that Indian team is better placed if the match takes place at Gabba, because if we do a man-to-man marking, and if Steve Smith does not score runs, the weight is tilted towards the Indian side.
“It is the Australian team who should think about playing on a different surface, on a more quicker pitch. But the atmosphere has been created that the Indian team does not want to play in Gabba and they are ‘chickening out’ because they are scared of the grass on Gabba surface. This is very typical of Australian media and this is how they behave. They became the 12th man,” added Aakash Chopra who was part of the Indian team that had toured Australia in 2003/04 season.
The Gabba is known as Australia’s fortress because of their stunning record at the venue. The home side has not lost a game at the venue since 1988. Gabba also holds the longest active unbeaten streak in Test cricket that has reached an impressive 31 matches.
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