Former Indian left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha has come down hard on a section of Australian media for their attempted ploy to peddle off-field controversy and get under the skin of Team India following the home sides’ eight-wicket mauling in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
In the past few days, there has been a lot of chatter in the Australian media about the off-field. After the news broke of five Indian players allegedly breaking the bio-bubble protocols- a claim that was wholeheartedly denied by the Indian management- reports of Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya breaching the same have surfaced despite no official confirmation by either Cricket Australia and the BCCI.
Then, there were unverified reports of the Indian team refusing to travel to Brisbane, another claim that has since been rubbished by Cricket Australia’s interim CEO Nick Hockley.
Moreover, former Australian cricketers like Brad Haddin and a couple of shadow ministers of Queensland have given distasteful comments on the unverified reports. While Haddin alleged that Team India does not want to travel to Brisbane because of Australia’s brilliant record at the Gabba, one shadow minister, in an arrogant tone, asked the Indians to not come to Brisbane if they can’t play by the rules.
‘Australians are bad losers’- Pragyan Ojha
Reacting to the same, Pragyan Ojha said that Australians are ‘bad losers’, adding that the ploy comes after they were left shell-shocked at the fact that the Indians turned the tables on their team in Melbourne.
“Everybody knows Australians are bad losers. They are not able to take it (MCG defeat) despite five of our main players missing. The 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,” he added.
“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,” he said.
“The bottom line is Australians are bad losers,” Ojha iterated.
Meanwhile, former Indian stumper Deep Dasgupta believed that the off-field stuff will further spur Team India to be at their best when they take on the Aussies in the third Test at the SCG.
“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.